Regina’s Archbishop Peers replaces Scott as Anglican primate

 — June 17, 198617 juin 1986

from the Montreal Gazette

[WINNIPEG] The new primate of the Anglican Church of Canada described himself yesterday as an ordinary human being with many limitations, but Archbishop Michael Peers of Regina said the church won’t back away from voicing opinions on social issues.

“I believe the church is in the business, at a personal level and a corporate level, of bridging gaps, of breaking down barriers,” Peers, 51, said after his election as the head of Canada’s 1 million Anglicans.

The tall, grey-haired native of Vancouver said spreading the basic gospel of the Christian faith and unity between the world’s religions are the major challenges facing today’s church.

It took five ballots in muggy St. John’s Cathedral for the more than 250 delegates to elect Peers as the ninth primate. He succeeds Archbishop Ted Scott, 68, who stepped down after 15 years in the post.

The multilingual Peers was ordained a priest in 1960 and presided over a diocese that includes Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and part of the Northwest Territories.

In addition to English and French, Peers speaks Russian, Polish and German and is learning Chinese “just for fun.”

He and Rev. Lois Wilson of the United Church of Canada led an inter-church visit to churches of the Soviet Union last year, and he is to chair the inter-church section of a meeting of the world’s Anglican bishops in Britain in 1988.

Peers’s main opponent was Bishop S. Stuart Payne of western Newfoundland. On the fifth and final ballot, Peers received 65 of 114 clergy votes and 75 of 142 lay votes. A majority of votes in each of the two groups is required.

Also receiving nominations were Most Rev. John Bothwell, 59, archbishop of Niagara, Most Rev. Douglas Hambridge, 59, archbishop of New Westminster, and Rt. Rev. Edwin Lackey, 55, bishop of Ottawa.

After his election, the new primate retired to a nearby parish hall with the other 41 bishops, returning to the cathedral in a procession a short time later clad in the purple robes signifying his new post.

“As I walked over here all I could think of was an old cartoon of a very ordinary Anglican priest in a pulpit overlooking his congregation saying, ‘I’m no Billy Graham,'” Peers told the synod.

“I’m no Ted Scott,” he said. “You’ll have occasion to say that many times. You heard it first from me.”

Montreal delegates welcomed the choice of Peers. “We are very pleased,” said Very Rev. A. S. Hutchison, dean of Christ Church Cathedral. “He should be a good ambassador for us.”

Scott said the biggest disappointment of his tenure was that Christians have not yet succeeded in ending the system of racial segregation in South Africa.

And he scolded some churchgoers for apparently taking more from the church than they put into it.

“There is evidence, clear evidence, that many people are more concerned about receiving services from the church than about being deeply committed to its life and work.”

Posted: June 17, 1986 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: Anglican Church of Canada, bishops
Transmis : 17 juin 1986 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Anglican Church of Canada, bishops

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