Bishop George Elliott, the area bishop of York-Simcoe, has announced his decision to retire at the end of April, 2013.
“After a significant period of discernment, I believe it is time for me to pass on the responsibility that was given to me when I was elected a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Toronto on Dec. 2, 2000, and subsequently began my ministry here in York-Simcoe in February 2001,” he wrote in a letter today to his clergy in York-Simcoe.
“Over the past 12 years, I have had the privilege of sharing a wonderful journey with you, with the people of the parishes you serve, and with our Diocesan, Canadian and worldwide Anglican family. Together we have supported one another in the ministry and mission of God’s church. Through struggles and through times of joy and celebration, God has been faithful in upholding us and equipping us to indeed be the people of God.
“It is with a thankful heart that I now enter with you into what will be a time of transition and change. As you have heard me say many times, ‘We journey with hope into the future that God has for us and for all of humankind.’ That is truly what lies ahead. Please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers.”
Archbishop Colin Johnson, the Bishop of Toronto, says he has “very mixed emotions” about Bishop Elliott’s retirement. “I am delighted for Bishop George and (his wife) Linda as they begin to embark on a new venture into retirement, when both are in good health and enjoying life to the full. I am deeply saddened that the longest serving bishop in the Diocese and the (ecclesiastical) province will be leaving his position. He has been a stalwart servant of Christ, contributing wisdom, energy, pastoral sensitivity and marvellous humour to the life of the Diocese. He has been a wonderful friend to me and I will miss the weekly connection with him. How I will miss his contributions to the College of Bishops.”
Archbishop Johnson says there will be opportunities for congratulating Bishop Elliott in the next few months. “After a suitable break, Bishop Elliott will continue to exercise ministry in the Diocese—as all of our retired bishops have done—in various capacities as he continues to respond to the call of Christ and his church.”
Bishop Elliott was born in 1949 and obtained his Master of Divinity degree from Wycliffe College and the Toronto School of Theology in 1979. He was ordained a priest in May, 1980, and served several parishes in the Diocese. He also served as a regional dean and on a number of diocesan committees.
See the York-Simcoe webpage for more information on the episcopal area.