The Primate

 

 The Anglican Church of Canada has chosen Bishop Fred Hiltz of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island as its 13th Primate or national leader.

Bishop Hiltz was elected by the church's General Synod, meeting in Winnipeg, on the 5th ballot, from among four bishops nominated last April by a gathering of all Canadian bishops.

Bishop Hiltz, 53, has succeeded Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, elected three years ago, who announced earlier that he would retire at the end of the General Synod gathering now underway.

Bishop Hiltz was elected assistant bishop of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in 1995 and elected diocesan bishop in 2002. He was a member of the Council of General Synod from 2001 to 2004 and, since, 2006, has served as the Anglican Co-Chair of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission.

In a statement after his nomination for the primacy, Bishop Hiltz described the Primate as "a servant of the people of God (whose) ministry is to gather the Church, to unite its members in a holy fellowship of truth and love, and to inspire them in the service of Christ's mission in the world."

He is married to Lynne Samways and they have one son.


One of the crucial aspects of this ministry is the "pastoral relationship" the primate has to the whole of the Anglican Church of Canada. Sustaining this bond requires extensive travel throughout the country.

The Primate attends many church gatherings such as diocesan synods, conferences, and clergy retreats; national gatherings such as General Synod, the Council of General Synod and the House of Bishops. The Primate also responds to invitations from individual parishes.

The Primate's work extends beyond Canada. For example, he represents the Anglican Church of Canada at the Lambeth Conference, a meeting of Anglican bishops from around the world held every decade, at the Primates' Meeting, an annual gathering of all primates, and before the World Council of Churches. Outreach also encompasses visits to other dioceses and provinces in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Among the Primate's other responsibilities are to serve as president of General Synod, chair of the Council of General Synod and chair of the House of Bishops. The Primate is chief executive officer of the staff of General Synod at the national office in Toronto.

In many ways, both at home and abroad, the Primate symbolizes and represents the Anglican Church of Canada. The Primate is the only bishop in the country without a cathedral.

The Primate's ministry is supported by the work of a principal secretary and an executive assistant.