Bishop Ronald Ferris of the northern Ontario diocese of Algoma, who also served as bishop of the Yukon, will retire on Sept. 30, 2008.
“Thank you, Algoma, for what has been a most joyful and productive era in our lives. We will miss you dearly. You have been wonderful friends and co-workers in Christ’s mission,” Bishop Ferris said in a letter to clergy and members of the diocese, which is based in Sault Ste. Marie.
“Jan and I leave feeling loved and supported and we take with us a wealth of joyous memories,” he wrote.
In an interview with the Anglican Journal, Bishop Ferris, who turned 63 in July, said he and his wife Jan are planning to move to the west coast, possibly to the Langley, B.C. area southeast of Vancouver.
The Ferrises have six adopted sons and daughters who are now adults, and four grandchildren (a fifth is due in August).
“We have three children in the Yukon, one in Victoria and one in Chilliwack (B.C.). One is in New Zealand and will probably be relocating to the lower mainland (around Vancouver),” Bishop Ferris said.
The bishop has no specific plans for the future beyond “just enjoying retirement and having some decompression time and time to reconnect with our family.”
In his letter to the diocese, Bishop Ferris noted that he has led the diocese for 13 years. “Combined with the 14 years I spent as bishop of Yukon, I have now been continuously travelling for 27 years!” he wrote.
A native of Toronto, Bishop Ferris began his working life as a teacher. In 1966, he and Jan moved to the Yukon where he taught and she was a nurse at the Carcross Indian Residential School. He holds bachelor of arts and master of divinity degrees.
Bishop Ferris said the diocesan executive committee met in the summer to plan an episcopal election for late fall. They will also elect a diocesan administrator to carry out administrative duties in the interim, he said.