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Canadian bishop resigns to join Anglican Network: CEN 1.31.09 p 6. January 31, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Uncategorized.

A one-time candidate for election as Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada has quit that church to join the breakaway Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). On Jan 23 the Rt. Rev. Ronald Ferris, retired Bishop of Algoma announced he had been received by Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables into the Province of the Southern Cone.

“After 28 wonderful years as Bishop, first in the Yukon and then in Algoma, I am delighted to embark on a new challenge – new church development,” Bishop Ferris said, adding that his decision to “relinquish the licence” he held from the Anglican Church of Canada was not “taken quickly or lightly.”

A spokesman for Canadian Archbishop Fred Hiltz said the primate received the news of Bishop Ferris’ secession “with regret.”

“Bishop Ferris has served the Anglican Church of Canada well. He has a long-standing service and dedication as bishop,” Archdeacon Paul Feheley said in a statement released on behalf of the archbishop.

While disappointed with the news, the archbishop nonetheless “respects and understands when people follow their conscience.” Bishop Ferris “has always been a strong conservative voice in terms of his beliefs and he has held on to that,” he said.

A resident of British Columbia, Bishop Ferris will plant churches for ANiC in the jurisdictions of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Dioceses of New Westminster and British Colombia as well as assist ANiC Bishop Donald Harvey’s episcopal ministry.

A candidate for election as primate of the Canadian church in 2004, Bishop Ferris was elected Bishop of the Yukon in 1981 and was translated to the Diocese of Algoma in Ontario in 1995, retiring on Sept 30, 2008.

Bishop Ferris will join the former Bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, the Rt. Rev. Donald Harvey and the former Bishop of Brandon, the Rt. Rev. Malcolm Harding in providing episcopal leadership under the oversight of Bishop Venables for ANiC. Founded in 2007, ANiC has three bishops, 66 clergy, 26 congregations and an average Sunday attendance of 3200.

The secession of the highly regarded Bishop of Algoma comes as a blow to the Canadian Church. While Bishop Ferris had supported ANiC within the Canadian House of Bishops and was considered the leading voice amongst its conservative, his secession was unexpected.

However, it did draw warm words from Bishop Harvey. The newest addition to the ANiC fold has a “true pastor’s heart and is wholeheartedly dedicated to Christ’s ministry and service. I am grateful for the privilege of ministering together.”

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