Ever since she was ordained a priest in 1998, Barbara Andrews said she had always served the Anglican Church of Canada “kind of on the fringe….”
That all changed in June, when she became the new suffragan (assistant) bishop for the Kamloops-based Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI).
Prior to her election, she was executive director of the Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre in Sorrento, B.C. Before that, she served as a director of Christian education, and had been in street ministry for four years in an inner city parish in Winnipeg.
In an interview, Bishop Andrews said her experience puts her “in a unique position because I come from a totally different experience and point of view.”
Bishop Andrews’ consecration ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Kamloops last Oct. 18 recognized and celebrated her Metis heritage. Her father was a Cree from northern Alberta.
APCI (formerly the diocese of Cariboo) will “envision a new way of being God’s faithful people,” said Bishop Andrews, adding this might prove useful to the rest of the church.
One of Bishop Andrews’ strongest passions has been social justice ministry, and it will remain so. Working with youth is also a priority.
APCI faces a number of economic challenges, some related to the decline of the forestry industry. In addition, this area is sparsely populated with small rural communities.
Bishop Andrews enjoys reading, gardening, cooking and “relaxing in God’s creation” at her cottage on Shuswap Lake, in the interior of B.C.