It is the season of quitting for Canadian bishops. Michael Bird is departing the diocese of Niagara and now Colin Johnson has announced that he is leaving the diocese of Toronto. Bird is moving to Ottawa, to “work more closely in parish work” – a hard to dispute career demotion from the position of bishop – and Johnson is retiring.
Both Niagara and Toronto are extremely liberal dioceses that have contributed much to the havoc that is undermining the Anglican Communion, so it is not surprising that, having steered their respective vessels into violent storms of Anglican controversy, both figureheads have had enough and are leaving it to others to mop up the mess. Messy Church is the in thing now, I gather.
This afternoon I have informed the members of Diocesan Council that, after many months of prayerful discernment, I am asking Diocesan Synod to concur with my request for the election of a Coadjutor Bishop for the diocese in the middle of next year. I will step down from my role as the Metropolitan of Ontario at the next Provincial Synod in October 2018 and concurrently as Bishop of Moosonee. More importantly for our diocese, I plan to retire as Bishop of Toronto at the end of December 2018. The Bishop of Ottawa, who is the next senior bishop of the Province, is now in receipt of my letter of resignation. A Coadjutor Bishop is elected by Synod to assist the Diocesan Bishop prior to his retirement and to succeed the Diocesan Bishop immediately on the Diocesan’s retirement.