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Archbishop to be honoured at retirement celebration

Anglicans will have a chance to say farewell to Archbishop Colin Johnson before he retires at the end of the year. A special retirement celebration will be held on Dec. 15 from 1-4 p.m. at St. James Cathedral, Church and King streets, Toronto. All are invited.

Archbishop Colin Johnson speaks at the Bishop’s Company Dinner in 2015. Photo by Michael Hudson.

“I would strongly encourage people to come,” says Bishop Andrew Asbil, the diocese’s coadjutor bishop. “This is a real opportunity to give him the accolades and praise, and to speak the words we need to say to him for all that he has done for the diocese as the diocesan, the Archdeacon of York, and as a faithful priest of this diocese.”

The celebration will include refreshments, a receiving line, speeches and presentations. It will conclude with a Choral Evensong at which Archbishop Johnson will preach.

Archbishop Johnson is retiring after more than 40 years of ordained ministry. He has been the Bishop of Toronto, or diocesan bishop, since 2004. He was the Bishop of Moosonee and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario before stepping down from those roles in October.

Archbishop Johnson will continue to serve as Bishop of Toronto until he retires on Dec. 31. He will be succeeded by Bishop Asbil on Jan. 1, 2019.

“For many reasons, the diocese will want to gather to congratulate Archbishop Johnson on a job well done, to thank him for a lifetime of service to the Church generally and the Diocese of Toronto in particular, and to wish him and Ellen well in this next chapter of their lives,” says Canon Mary Conliffe, the Diocesan Executive Assistant to the Archbishop. “This will be a wonderful occasion, and I hope many people will come out to honour him.”

In addition to the Dec. 15 event, Archbishop Johnson will be the guest of honour at the Bishop’s Company Dinner in Toronto on Oct. 19. He will be chairing the diocese’s Synod for the last time when it convenes on Nov. 9-10 in Richmond Hill.