Owing to continued COVID restrictions, and in consultation with Chancellor James Travers, Bishop Sandra has determined that there will be no regular gathering of Synod in May 2021, and has informed Diocesan Council. Canonically we are required to hold Synod within two years of the last Synod. Since we held an electoral Synod in the fall, no Synod is required until September 2022. The main reason for the decision was the difficulty of holding a Synod with multiple items on the agenda when large in large in person gatherings may still not be possible. There is no firm date set for the next gathering of Synod. As we see how the pandemic unfolds, we will have a clearer picture of when we can gather as Synod. It is suggested that parishes continue to elect Synod delegates, just as in normal years with no Synod. If you have questions, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rev. Will Ferrey, Executive Secretary of Synod
Anglicans belong to a church that is episcopally led and synodically governed. Through the Synod – the legislature of the church – the Laity (people), Clergy (ordained people) and Bishops are involved in the life and government of the church.
The Laity becomes members of the Diocesan Synod through election at the annual general meeting of their parish. The election to Synod automatically makes these persons members of the parish council. Every parish is represented at the Synod by two clergy (usually the rector/priest in charge and an associate parish priest or deacon) and two elected lay representatives)
The Synod is a legislative body as well as an education body where members learn of programs within the church emphasizing ministry and outreach.
Between the bi-annual meetings of Synod, there is an executive body called the Diocesan Council, which acts for the Synod between sessions. Its members are elected by the Synod and are joined by a number of appointments by the Bishop. The Vision Strategy and Support Teams (VSSTs) of the Synod report to the Diocesan Council and the Synod. Appointment to a VSST offers a lay person the opportunity to share talents and expertise in various aspects of the church’s work.
Synod delegates are also elected to represent the Diocese at the Provincial Synod , which is comprised of the seven Dioceses in Eastern Canada and which meets bi-annually. Synod Delegates are also elected as members of General Synod, a tri-annual happening, which carries out the work of the Anglican Church of Canada . In addition, the National Church sends a Bishop, Priest, and Lay Person to the Anglican Consultative Council which is representative of the 37 Provinces of the Worldwide Anglican Communion and which meets every three years to discuss and reflect mission, ecumenism, doctrine and social justice issues.
The Diocesan Synod encompasses the tradition of collegiality and cooperation. Each parish is not an island unto itself, but is part of a community of churches working together to fulfill the Diocesan Mission Statement. Undoubtedly, each parish will have its unique emphasis in programs, ministry and outreach, but that can only be strengthened as Anglicans share with other parishes through the Diocesan and National Church Programs, Ministry and Resources.
Anglicans are linked by common tradition and heritage, worship, ordained ministry and the three cornerstones of scripture, tradition and reason. One body of Christ composed of churches which, united under the One Divine Head and in the fellowship of One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and Worship One God and Father through the same Lord Jesus Christ by the same Holy Divine Spirit who is given to them that believe to guide them into all truth (Solemn Declaration – Book of Common Prayer)
In the Diocese of Nova Scotia Synod meetings are held at least every two years at the call of the Bishop.
For more information or questions please contact our Executive Director of Synod - The Reverend Will Ferrey
The Reverend Sandra Fyfe has been elected the next Anglican Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. When consecrated bishop she will be the 17th person to hold the post. Owing to Covid-19 restrictions, the 149th Session of the Diocese met in eleven locations throughout the two provinces to conduct the election. She was voted in on the 3rd ballot. The Reverend Sandra Fyfe is currently the rector of the Parish of Horton, St. John’s Church, Wolfville, where she has served since 2009. A graduate of Queen’s Theological College, St. John’s, NL with her Masters of Divinity, she was ordained deacon in 2000 and priest in 2001. Others places where she has served have been: curate at St. Thomas Church, St. John’s, NL; rector at Christ Church, Shelburne; and, priest-in-charge of the parishes of St. James Church, Kentville, and Lockeport-Barrington. She was Archdeacon of the South Shore Region until 2009 and Archdeacon of the Valley Region until 2017.
August 5, 2020
The Episcopal Search Committee is pleased to provide a video introduction for the four nominees for Bishop of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Stay tuned for additional information on the nominees around mid-August and end August 2020.
On Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 9:00 a.m., the following members of Synod gathered at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax for the 149th session of the Synod of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island:
The Most Rev. Ron Cutler, Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada, Chair
Mrs. Daphne Beeler, St. Mark’s, Halifax, Chair of the Episcopal Search Committee
Mrs. Jan Connors, St. George’s Halifax
The Rev. Canon Gordon Redden, Acting Executive Secretary of Synod
The Very Rev. Paul Smith, Dean of the Cathedral Church of All Saints
Mrs. Connors was asked to take notes of the proceedings.
The Metropolitan led in prayer.
Given that the state of emergency existing in response to the Covid 19 pandemic prohibited the gathering of any groups of more than 10 people, it was deemed impossible to obtain a quorum of members to conduct the work of the Synod, the Metropolitan read Canon 1, section 12(2) to the members of the Electoral Synod present:
“If a quorum is not present at the time appointed for the opening of an electoral synod, the members present may adjourn from time to time until a quorum is obtained and it is not necessary that any further summons be sent to the members of the electoral synod.”
It was then moved by Canon Redden, seconded by Dean Smith that “According to Canon 1 section 12 (2), an absence of a quorum being noted, it is resolved that the Electoral Synod be adjourned to September 12, 2020, and if a quorum not be present at that time, a further adjournment shall occur to a date to be determined.”
The resolution was passed unanimously by those present.
The Episcopal Search Committee is please to present the following nominees for the position of Bishop of the Diocese:
- The Reverend Katherine Bourbonniere
- The Reverend Carl Fraser
- The Reverend Sandra Fyfe
- The Reverend Elliott Siteman
The provincial restrictions placed on the number of people permitted to gather combined with the restrictions on interprovincial travel have made it necessary to conclude that the Electoral Synod scheduled for May 30th cannot proceed as planned.
In consultation with the Archbishop and the Diocesan Chancellor, we see no possibility that this situation will change sufficiently within the next 25 days to allow the Synod to take place.
While the Constitution and canons of the Diocese do not permit us to officially postpone the Synod from May 30 to a future date, we are at this point advising you not to make plans to gather at All Saints Cathedral on May 30th. Please do not make travel plans and do not make hotel reservations.
On May 30th, under the provisions of Canon 1, section 12.2, five members of Synod will gather in person and pass a resolution to postpone the Electoral Synod to September 12 2020, which is a date chosen by Diocesan Council.
The list of nominees for election to the office of diocesan bishop will be circulated on May 16th.
The Rev'd Canon Gordon Redden
Acting Executive Secretary of Synod
At this time we continue to plan for an Electoral Synod to take place on May 30 2020. However we are making contingency plans in the event that we are prevented from gathering by the Public Health Emergency. This means that:
- lists of eligible members of the Synod are being prepared.
- The Episcopal search committee has received names proposed as nominees, those individuals have been contacted and asked to submit the required consent and police record checks by April 20. The eligible nominees will be determined today and requested to submit written responses to questions. The list of nominees will be released to members of synod and made available through social media on May 16.
In the event that it appears likely that we will be unable to gather for the synod, we will send a notification to members of synod by May 4th.
If the Synod cannot take place on May 30, the Diocesan Council has selected September 12 2020 as the alternate date for the gathering of the synod. This gathering will only take place if the restrictions on gathering have been lifted and there are no restrictions on travel between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (i.e. no quarantine periods for inter-provincial travel). We will observe best practices for social gatherings at that time- physical distancing and the provision of hand washing and sanitizing facilities. The Canon on the election of a bishop has no provision for electronic balloting and requires the entire synod membership to be gathered in one place.
The written materials and video recordings made by nominees will be released by August 22. We remind members of Synod that the election of a bishop is a prayerful discernment, not a political process.
In addition to the requested material, there will be a “Town Hall” panel gathering of nominees on August 29. This will take place at the Cathedral Church of All Saints and be moderated by the Episcopal Search Committee. This event will be live streamed and recorded.
Some people have asked about the possibility of Archbishop Cutler deferring the date of his retirement in the event the electoral synod cannot take place on May 30. Diocesan Canon 1 and the Canons of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada make no provision to rescind a resignation once it has been accepted.
Our Diocese does have a canonical provision for interim leadership in the absence or incapacity of a bishop. This period is governed by Canon 3 (link). According to this Canon, the Diocesan Council will appoint a group of 3 clergy as diocesan administrators. Their duties are defined in the Canon. They will serve until the consecration of a new Diocesan bishop. The Diocesan Council will appoint the administrators at their June 12-13 meeting.
To: Parishes of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
From: The Reverend Canon Gordon Redden, Acting Executive Secretary of Synod
Date: March 16, 2020
Subject: Process for proposing names for nomination for election as Coadjutor Bishop
Pursuant to the call for an Electoral Synod communicated on February 11, 2020, please find below the process for proposing names for nomination for election as Coadjutor Bishop.
1. Electoral Synod process: The search, proposal, nomination and election process are determined by Diocesan Canon 1: Election, Appointment, Consecration and Resignation of Bishops.
2. Search Committee: Diocesan Council has appointed an Episcopal Search Committee composed of Daphne Beeler, Robert Sheppard, Jordan Waterbury and The Reverends Brieanna Andrews, Colin Nicolle and Laura Marie Piotrowicz. Council appointed Edith Marshall as Secretary to the Search committee.
3. Description of Qualifications and Requirements: The Search Committee has prepared a written description of the qualifications and requirements of our next Diocesan Bishop and it has been approved at a special meeting of Diocesan Council on March 13, 2020.
4. Who can propose names for nomination to the Search Committee? Any member of Synod and members of the Provincial House of Bishops may propose names to the Search Committee. The Search Committee may, in its own right, propose names.
5. Parishioners who are not eligible, as defined above, to propose names, may discuss the proposed name with their Synod delegate(s) and the Synod delegate may propose the name on behalf of the parishioner.
6. Process for proposing a name or names to the Search Committee:
a. Any member of Synod may submit in writing to the Secretary of the Episcopal Search Committee the name or names of any person or persons proposed by the member for nomination as Coadjutor Bishop.
b. A person proposed for nomination must be a priest or bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada or a church in full communion therewith who is at least thirty years and less than seventy years of age.
c. A person proposed for nomination must also meet the criteria set out in General Qualifications and Requirements for the Bishop of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island attached to this notice.
d. The following information must be supplied for each person proposed:
i. The name of the person
ii. the clerical position or office currently held by the person
iii. The address of the person
iv. The telephone number and email address of the person
v. A statement that the person has consented to be proposed.
e. Proposed names should be sent or delivered to:
Secretary, Episcopal Search Committee
Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
1340 Cathedral Lane
Halifax NS B3H 2Z1
Proposed names may also be sent by email to: email@example.com
The deadline for receiving proposed names is no later than midnight ADT on Saturday, April 4th, 2020.