Elected as Bishop in 2020, Bishop Anna spent the first 20 years of her ministry serving as a priest in Calgary and Toronto. Highlights included helping get both the Wisdom Centre and the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good off the ground. God really does breathe new life into old institutions. Prior to beginning her work as a Priest she earned a B. A. in Religious Studies from Mount Alison University and an M. Div. from the Episcopal Divinity School. In 2022 she completed an MBA with the University of Athabasca focussing on change theory and developing adaptive capacity. Anna and her husband James have two teenagers, two cats, and too many bicycles.
If we see the diocese as having two parallel structures—parish and synod—the bishop stands at the head of both of them.
With respect to the parish structure, the bishop is the chief pastor. In this capacity, the bishop consults with parishes and licenses the clergy to their charges. The bishop regularly visits each parish in the diocese, and when present presides and preaches at the Eucharist. The parish prays for the bishop as the symbol of unity between itself and all the other parishes of the diocese, and the wider Anglican Communion.
Bishops are the links that establish communions. The bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada meet twice a year, in a meeting called The House of Bishops. As well, they meet and vote as a house at General Synod every three years. By being in communion with the archbishop of Canterbury, our bishop is in communion with every other Anglican bishop.
The bishop has a direct relationship with every priest canonically resident in the diocese. The bishop may ordain clergy, and all licensed clergy make oaths of obedience to the bishop. The bishop, in licensing the clergy, devolves his or her authority upon them. The bishop also has the power to revoke it with just cause.
The service for the ordination of a bishop in the BAS (Book of Alternative Services) states that a bishop is “called to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the church.”
Within the synodical structure, our bishop is the chair of both the sessions of Synod and the diocesan council. Synod elects the successor to the bishop, at special sessions of synod.
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This guide outlines, at a high level, the roles and responsibilities of a diocesan bishop in this diocese.