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From Our Bishops

Letter to the Diocese from Bishop Andrew

Dear Friends,

There are few things more exciting than watching a big project come to completion. Last evening, at Synod Council, I was very pleased to make an announcement that concludes a piece of work that started over two and a half years ago.

You’ll recall that in June of 2020, I created the Episcopal Leadership Working Group to consider moving the Diocese of Toronto from our 40-year-old system of one diocesan bishop with four suffragan bishops, each responsible for one of five (and later four) geographic episcopal areas. The ELWG eventually recommended a new model of shared episcopal oversight, with one diocesan bishop, the existing two suffragan bishops, and a number of Territorial Archdeacons or lay Canon Administrators, to assist the bishops, the regional deans and the parishes in the more administrative functions of episcopal ministry. Each Archdeacon or Canon Administrator would have responsibility for a number of contiguous deaneries, thereby freeing up the bishops to focus on ministry to the whole Diocese.

After due consultation through mid-2021, I formed the Episcopal Leadership Implementation Team to bring this vision to reality. The ELIT defined the terms of reference for this new role, devised a recruitment, interviewing, selection and on-boarding plan for the successful candidates, and has considered how the Diocese might be parcelled into appropriate archdeaconries for this new model. Their work culminated in the recent search for five individuals to serve one day per week (or 20% time) in this administrative and supportive capacity, in addition to their current ministry positions.

It is my great delight to inform you that the search is over, and the Diocese of Toronto will welcome four new Archdeacons and one Canon Administrator in January 2023.

The Rev. Canon John Anderson


The Rev. Canon John Anderson is the incumbent of St. James, Orillia and known widely to the Diocese as our Canon Pastor. A former lawyer, he has served as a regional dean and on the Governance Working Group and the Constitution and Canons Committee.





The Rev. Theadore Hunt


The Rev. Theadore Hunt is the incumbent of St. Stephen, Downsview. Ordained in the Diocese of the Bahamas, he is a member of Synod Council, a Fresh Start facilitator and a member of the Bishop’s Committee on Healing Ministries.






The Rev. Canon Steven Mackison


The Rev. Canon Steven Mackison is the incumbent of the Church of the Redeemer, Bloor St. He has served as a liturgical officer both in this Diocese and his former Diocese of Montreal and was chair of the Social Justice and Advocacy Board here in Toronto, as well as Honorary Clerical Secretary of Synod.





The Rev. Canon Cheryl Palmer


The Rev. Canon Cheryl Palmer is the incumbent of Christ Church, Deer Park. Her varied ministry roles have included hospital chaplaincy and cemetery management, and she has served the Diocese on Risk & Governance and was a long-serving member of the Postulancy Committee.





Ms. Laura Walton, ODT


Ms. Laura Walton, ODT is a parishioner at Holy Trinity, Clearview and Prolocutor for the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario. With a career in business administration and certification in mediation, bereavement and addictions counselling, she has served as Honorary Lay Secretary of Synod, member (and planner) of General Synod, and is on our Diocesan Response Team.



The College of Bishops welcomed these five outstanding individuals to our Zoom meeting yesterday for the first time as a group, and already we are energized and encouraged by the wisdom, insight and experience that they will bring to our table.

The assignments of these archdeacons to their respective territories will be shared with them and you all in the new year. In the meantime, I invite you all to mark your calendars for the Collation Service at St. James Cathedral on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 4:30 p.m. You are encouraged to attend, either in-person or online. I look forward to welcoming Archdeacon Anderson, Archdeacon Hunt, Archdeacon Mackison, Archdeacon Palmer and Canon Walton into these new roles in our Church.

In this week of Advent Joy for the Church, I am full of thanksgiving and deep joy for the gift of expanded and shared ministry in our Diocese. I want to express my deep gratitude to the members of the ELWG under the leadership of Canon Brian Armstrong and Ms. Susan Graham Walker, ODT, and to the members of the ELIT, especially co-chairs the Rev. Canon Stephen Kirkegaard and Ms. Susan Abell, ODT, and to all those who have brought us to this new day in the life of our Diocese.

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto