Canada’s Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, to retire in 2019

Archbishop Fred J. Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has published a pastoral letter announcing his intention to retire at the end of the 2019 General Synod. From his letter:

Allow me just a few minutes to bare but a bit of my soul concerning my discernment. At some length, I have considered how much longer I should remain in office. In all honesty, there are days when I wonder if I might not be coming very close to the “best before” date in the leadership I am providing. Time and again, I have examined the scenarios for which Canon III on The Primate makes provision with respect to resignation. I have experienced more than a few restless nights. I have tried to abide by St Paul’s counsel not to be anxious but prayerful (Philippians 2:6) I have prayed and I have quietly asked a few others to uphold me in their prayers through this time of discernment. For their pledge to do so I am enormously grateful.

I confess too that out of a deep and abiding love for our Church I have in these last several months felt more than a little sense of solemn obligation to see General Synod through the next round of conversations over a few very significant matters. I think of how we begin to move beyond Vision 2019. I think of the second reading of the amendment to the Marriage Canon.  I think of the next steps we will be taking to honour the dream of a truly Indigenous Church within The Anglican Church of Canada. I think of the desire deep in the soul of our Church for making a faithful response to the Calls to Action from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission grounded in the UN Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I think of the emerging nature of global partnerships, orientated not only around fellowship and mutual encouragement  in our witness to the Gospel but also solidarity in addressing massive global issues as horrific as human trafficking and as critical as climate change.

My discernment has brought me to a decision to resign at the conclusion of General Synod 2019.

The July 2019 General Synod will conclude, Hiltz wrote, with the celebration of the election of a new Primate. Hiltz has served as Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada since 2007. Read his letter in its entirety here.


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