Roles & Responsibilities

Duties of Territorial Archdeacons  

To assist the Bishop as assigned. These duties include:

1. To represent the Bishop in the Deanery when the Bishop cannot be present.

2. To take first responsibility for personnel crises in the Deanery in consultation with the Bishop.

3. To participate in regular meetings of the Bishop, Archdeacons and the Dean.

4. To foster and promote a harmonious working of Deanery life.

5. To advise Concurrence Committees in accordance with the guidelines for Concurrence Committees.

6. To arrange coverage for churches without incumbents in consultation with the wardens.

7. To field questions from clergy and lay leadership that do not need to be referred to the Synod Office.

8. To advise the Bishop when serious matters are emerging in the life of any congregation in the Deanery and at the direction of the Bishop to intervene in cases of serious parish conflict.

9. To be a pastoral link with, and for the Bishop, to the clergy in the Deanery and their families.

10. To develop with the Bishop and the other Archdeacons beneficial crisis intervention strategies and teams.

11. To give the Bishop’s Administrative Assistant advance notice of upcoming Celebrations of New Ministry which require mandates and licences signed by the Bishop so that these can be prepared and forwarded in a timely manner.

12. To keep a record of vacation and other out-of-parish plans of clergy in the deanery.

13. To maintain contact with retired clergy in the Deanery.

Revised 2002

The Bishop’s Ministry

Bishop’s Chaplain Instructions

The purpose of the Chaplain is to be supportive of the Bishop, to help the Bishop work effectively in an unfamiliar setting, and to help handle the outward things, so that the Bishop can concentrate on the spiritual things and on the people.  For parish visits, the Incumbent would normally ask an assistant priest, deacon, lay reader, or senior server to be the Chaplain. The Chaplain can help in the following ways:

  1. Be on hand early to great the Bishop; take her things to the area where she will be vesting; have a table cleared or a space where he may vest; direct him to the phone, washroom, meeting areas; and have bulletins and service books located.
  2. Assemble the pastoral staff.  Each piece in the flannel case connects with the others.
  3. Whenever the Chaplain is carrying or holding the staff, it is held with two hands directly in front (holding no books or other items) with the crook facing outward.
  4. In the processional and recessional the Chaplain and staff precede the Bishop.
  5. The staff should be placed, when not in use, in a safe corner.
  6. The Chaplain passes the staff to the Bishop before the Absolution and also for the final Blessing.
  7. The Chaplain should be attentive throughout the Service to the needs of the Bishop by looking up hymns, holding the Service Book when needed, and normally standing by holding the staff during Episcopal functions such as baptism, confirmation, the blessing of memorials, etc.  During confirmations the Chaplain stands behind the chair, on the Gospel side (to the Bishop’s right when facing the congregation).
  8. The Bishop’s Chaplain should be robed.
  9. The Bishop will not normally need assistance with his Mitre or Cope during Services.
  10. Following the Service, the Bishop may need the staff, etc. for photos. Following that, the staff can be dismantled and, along with any books or notes of the Bishop, be placed back into its case.
  11. The Chaplain’s task is simply (without fuss) to be as helpful to the Bishop as possible during his visit.

June 2006

When the Bishop makes a visit to a Parish that includes a worship Service:

  1. The Incumbent is asked to serve as Master of ceremonies for the announcing of hymns, etc. during the confirmation, and to direct the service of the word for all Services.

  2. There should be a Gospel reader other than the Bishop.

  3. The liturgical colour for Confirmation will be red.

  4. The incumbent sets up the altar and does the ablutions, or sees that these are looked after.

  5. The Bishop would like to greet the congregation following the service and before any Confirmation pictures. Photographs can be taken just after the congregation leaves.

  6. The Certificates can be handed out during the picture taking or the reception and no extra ceremony or formalities are required.

  7. The Bishop’s chaplain should be robed.

  8. It is not necessary to lead the Bishop to the pulpit as with a visitor, because the Bishop is preaching by right rather than by invitation.

  9. If you normally have a children’s moment in the service time, the Bishop would be happy to lead it, with notice.

  10. Before the Eucharist please advise the Bishop as to the normal posture of the congregation during the Eucharistic and Post-Communion prayers.


The Bishop:

  1. Invites the ordinand.
  2. Chooses the preacher.
  3. Sets date and time.
  4. Chooses the propers.

The Bishop’s Administrative Assistant:

  1. Sends out the Si Quis and Letters Testimonial, once the ordination is announced.
  2. Prepares letters of order; oaths; licence
  3. Ensures that candidate returns the Si Quis, Letters Testimonial, baptismal certificate, confirmation certificate.
  4. Following the service, files oaths in the clergy docket; enters details of those attending Service in Register.

The Candidate:

  1. Chooses a clergy and a lay presenter.
  2. Supplies a copy of baptismal certificate and confirmation certificate to the Bishop’s Administrative Assistant.
  3. Ensures that the Si Quis is read in the church where the person ordinarily attends, and that the wardens sign the document.
  4. Ensures that Letters Testimonial are completed, preferably, on one copy, signed by two priests.

The Host Incumbent:

  1.  It is quite sufficient to use the Services printed in the Book of Common Prayer or Book of Alternative Services rather than feeling the necessity of retyping everything into a bulletin format.
  2. Assign one of the clergy or lay readers to act as Bishop’s Chaplain, and supply them with a copy of the instructions in the Diocesan Handbook.
  3. Choose the lectors.
  4. Select the hymns and music in consultation with the candidate.
  5. Make arrangements for crucifer, servers, and bulletin if desired.

The Archdeacon:

  1. The archdeacon in whose archdeaconry the ordination is taking place shall: act as master of ceremonies for the rehearsal (if any); line up and instruct the procession; serve as master of ceremonies for the Service and the photo session. If the Service is to be in the Cathedral, the master of ceremonies will be the Dean.
  2. Assist the candidate in making arrangements for planning and arranging a quiet day or retreat. (Where geography allows and there are several candidates, the archdeacons concerned may wish to plan a common quiet day or retreat.)
  3. Consult with the parish wardens and incumbent to ensure the willingness of the parish to host the event.
  4. Negotiate with the incumbent and wardens arrangements for a reception or a light meal following the Service.
  5. Choose the litanist in consultation with the host incumbent.
  6. Except when the Service is in the Cathedral, the archdeacon should review the final form of the liturgy.

Collection Practices:

  1. Ordinations to the Diaconate are normally held in the parish where one of the candidates comes from, or where one of the candidates is serving. Ordinations to the Priesthood are held primarily at major Diocesan occasions and Services.
  2. The host parish is asked to cover any expense costs for the ordination from the open offering or special ordination offering taken at the Service. Normally these costs are associated with the reception, photocopying, altar needs, bulletins, and the pre-ordination retreat. Where the ordination offering is in excess of these needs, the balance should be forwarded to the Diocese to help with the Diocesan ordination costs or to go toward theological education.

 Casual Coverage for Parishes

A parish may request that clergy, who are providing casual coverage for that parish, be placed on Central Payroll.  A Memorandum of Agreement is required for this to happen.  The Memorandum shall contain the terms of the agreement and be signed by the wardens (on behalf of the parish) and the cleric.  These terms are subject to the approval of the Bishop and, on this approval, will be signed by the Bishop.

Licences, Letters of Permission, and informal Permissions   (October 2002)

The ministry carried out in the Diocese is the ministry of the Bishop.  The Bishop delegates sacramental, teaching and pastoral responsibilities to clergy, and, at times, teaching and pastoral responsibilities to laity, by issuing Licences, Letters of Permission, or more informal forms of permission.  Other parts of the Bishop’s ministry, such as ordination and confirmation, are not delegated.

Under our Diocesan Constitution, a Licence grants full membership in our Synod and a Letter of Permission does not.  There are two types of Licences.  The most common is one issued by the Bishop to clergy who are under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Algoma.  The second is a Special Licence that the Bishop may issue to clergy who have come from another diocese, but who are ministering in Algoma while remaining members of the diocese from which they have come.  This Special Licence enables these clergy to be full members of the Algoma Synod (with voice and vote), provided that they are not also active members of the Synod of the diocese from which they have come.  This is required by the canonical principle that one cannot be a part of two Synods at the same time.   Clergy requesting such a Special Licence must petition the Bishop and include a written letter indicating that they will not be voting in any other diocesan Synod.

(November 2016)

Employed positions carrying out program and youth work are created, from time to time, in our deaneries consistent with the policies concerning these positions put into place by the Executive Committee.  The employer for these positions is The Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Algoma.  The Bishop, as President of The Incorporated Synod, is the senior employment manager in the Diocese.

The territorial Archdeacon is the employee’s immediate supervisor in matters relating to employment.  The territorial Archdeacon shall represent the Bishop in these matters and be responsible to the Bishop for this work.

The Congregational Development Officer is the employee’s immediate supervisor in matters relating to the content of the program and youth work being done.  The work done by these employees will be coordinated between deaneries by the Congregational Development Officer as part of the overall program and youth work of the Diocese.   The Congregational Development Officer shall represent the Bishop in these matters and be responsible to the Bishop for this work.

(Revised November 2002)

The Beginning

  1. The Incumbent resigns to the Bishop and announces it to the congregation after consultation with the Bishop.
  2. The church wardens consult with the territorial archdeacon regarding the timing and process of an appointment.
  3. The church wardens arrange an official inspection of rectory facilities by the deanery officials.

The Concurrence Committee

  1. In the case of a self-supporting parish that is current in stipend, levy, and other commitments, the wardens consult with the territorial archdeacon to learn about the appointment process and to agree on a time for a vestry meeting to elect a concurrence committee. The concurrence committee shall be composed of not more than seven nor less than three communicants of at least the age of eighteen (Canon 1-1.3 a). It is recommended that one member of the concurrence committee be a warden. A healthy balance of people who represent the life of the parish is recommended. Those elected are required to keep confidences and interviewing skills would be helpful. The Bishop requests that concurrence committees be comprised of lay members of the congregation.
  2. For self-supporting parishes, the vestry is called with the required two notices at services on separate Sundays. It is most appropriate for the date to be arranged so the territorial archdeacon can be present at the meeting to give guidance and information and to represent the Bishop. The vestry operates in accordance with the rules in the canons (Canon J-1) and a chairperson of the vestry is elected from the duly qualified voters present.
  3. In the case of a parish which is part-time, assisted, or which is in arrears to the Diocese for stipend, travel, or apportionment, the bishop has the right of direct appointment under Canon I-1.4.b) and Canon I -1.1. Where the Bishop feels that a consultative process would be beneficial to the circumstances, he may suggest a process of consultation with the wardens, or with the wardens and delegates to Synod.
  4. In parishes where there is not a full-time stipend available for the incumbent, the Bishop will normally make a direct appointment.

Parish Profile and Planning

  1. The church wardens should contact the territorial archdeacon to arrange coverage for services and ministries during the interim and to ensure that the deanery officials have certified:
    1. that sufficient financial resources are in place to enable an appointment;
    2. that the rectory is in good repair;
    3. that parish resources are available for the interviewing process and for moving costs.
  2. Interviewing costs will include a visit to the Synod Office for a time with the Bishop. Moving expenses are generally the responsibility of the parish. Depending on the availability of funds, arrangements can be made, if necessary, for a loan to cover part of the moving expenses from the Clergy Moving Loan Fund through the Diocesan Treasurer.
  3. The concurrence committee chair contacts the executive archdeacon as to how to complete the parish profile. The compiling of the profile is designed to be a widely participatory process which the Advisory Board may already have underway, prior to or during the selection of the concurrence committee. After election, the chair of the concurrence committee forwards the profile, when complete, to the Bishop’s office.
  4. The existence of an opening is public information and can be shared with anyone. Interest in the position from any applicant rnust be directed to the Bishop and not the concurrence committee.
  5. Guidelines of the National House of Bishops prohibit anyone acting in an official capacity, from approaching any clergy person serving in another Diocese without going through the Bishop of the Diocese where the opening has occurred.

Interviewing the Nominees

  1. The concurrence committee presents the profile to the Bishop and consults with the Executive Archdeacon in person or by conference call.
  2. The Bishop and the Executive Archdeacon conduct the reference checks and make enquiries about the suitability of applicants.

Communications Channels

  1. The existence of an opening is public information and can be shared with anyone. Interest in the position from any applicant must be directed to the Bishop and not the concurrence committee.
  2. Guidelines of the National House of Bishops prohibit anyone acting in an official capacity from approaching any clergy person serving in another Diocese without going through the Bishop in the Diocese where the opening has occurred.

Interviewing the Nominees

  1. The concurrence committee presents the profile to the Bishop and consults with the Executive Archdeacon in person or by conference call.
  2. The Bishop and the Executive Archdeacon conduct the reference checks and make enquiries about the suitability of applicants.
  3. The Bishop will present the name or names with basic biographical information to the concurrence committee. The concurrence committee chair is then usually directed by the Bishop or Executive Archdeacon to be in direct contact with the interviewees. The chair of the committee is then responsible for interview arrangements. Profiles are sent to the nominees. The interviewers may wish to request fuller information from the nominees at this time. The names and the information supplied are confidential. The chair is requested to send all circulated information back to the Bishop, or see that it is destroyed when the task is completed.
  4. No final commitment is made by either party in the initial interview.
  5. In the interview the nominees should be asked to respond to the parish profile sent ahead of time. It is an appropriate time to review the stipend, housing arrangements, travel allowance and moving expenses. Please consult with the Bishop and the Diocesan Treasurer if there are any variances below the minimum stipend, the housing allowance formula, or other policies of the Diocese. Where there is a rectory, the interviewee should be allowed a thorough inspection.
  6. In the case of a self-supporting parish, the Bishop nominates one or more clergy for the vacant cure (Canon I-1.3 c). If concurrence cannot be achieved in three successive nominations in a six-month period, the appointment is in the hands of the Bishop (Canon I-1.3 e). The Bishop has the right of appointment to any parish that is part-time, assisted or in arrears (Canon I -1.1 and Canon 1-1.4. b).
  7. The territorial archdeacon assists in arranging coverage during the vacant incumbency. The territorial archdeacon is not a party to the confidential names given to the concurrence committee on the Bishop’s list of nominees. It is inappropriate to ask the territorial archdeacon to express an opinion on any name given.
  8. Confidentiality is critical to the operation of the concurrence process. For parish clergy, knowledge that they were being considered for appointment elsewhere could well undermine their pastoral relationships at home. Nominees being considered for appointment have a right to expect confidentiality, and it is the duty of the committee to keep the names, the deliberations, and the written records confidential. When the process concludes, written materials should be returned to the chairperson and destroyed.
  9. Interviews or visits may be arranged in accordance with the means of the parish. The territorial archdeacon can provide guidance as to the appropriate protocol and etiquette.

The Appointment

  1. The concurrence committee advises the Bishop of their choice of nominee.
  2. The Bishop advises all the nominees that a decision has been reached. (The concurrence committee should not be in contact with any of the interviewees until this has been done by the Bishop or the Executive Archdeacon.)
  3. The appointment is made by the Bishop, and the effective date agreed to.
  4. The appointee consults with the Diocesan Treasurer about stipend and other financial arrangements (in parishes with central payroll).
  5. The Bishop issues a letter of appointment to the appointee. The signed letter of appointment is returned by the appointee prior to an announcement. This may take a week or two.
  6. The territorial archdeacon consults with the wardens to arrange for a service of welcoming and celebration of a new ministry within thirty days of the effective date of appointment and at a time when the clergy of the region can attend. The Bishop issues to the territorial archdeacon a Mandate for a Celebration of New Ministry.




Housing Allowances

  1. Some parishes offer housing allowances in lieu of rectory. Where this is done, the Bishop needs to be assured that it will not place an undue strain on the financial resources of the parish. The concurrence committee needs to work with the wardens to establish ahead of time the parameters of the housing allowance, if any, being offered. The Executive Committee presently has a moratorium on selling rectories. If the housing allowance is new, the advisory board and wardens will have to develop a plan for the rental or alternate use of the present rectory.

Self-Supporting Churches

As a result of decisions made at Synod 1997, parishes that are current with all their financial obligations are able to offer a salary above the diocesan minimum. Suggested amounts in the Stipend Task Force report at Synod 1997 (but not passed by the Synod) were as follows:


  • Parishes with an average Sunday attendance of 100 to 130, 10 percent above the  minimum stipend;
  • Parishes with an average Sunday attendance of 130 to 180, 20 percent above the minimum stipend;
  • Parishes with an average Sunday attendance of 180 plus, 30 percent above the minimum stipend.
  • Increased responsibility allowances would also be in order where there are multiple points, or isolation.


The above examples are merely suggestions. Each self-supporting parish is free to pay the minimum only, or any amount they choose above the minimum. The concurrence committee should work out ahead of time with the wardens and the advisory board agreed costs with respect to interviewing procedures, moving costs, housing costs, and a salary range. The concurrence committee then makes the final financial determinations within those ranges prior to the appointment.

Lay Readers and other lay ministries in the parish

All of the members of our parishes are called to carry out Christian ministry but some of these ministries are more formally recognized, organized, and coordinated.  Such formal lay ministries may include those of Lay Readers, Eucharistic assistants, servers, choir members, altar guild members, hospital visitors and other roles depending on the circumstances of the individual parish.  These parish lay ministers are responsible to the Incumbent and are under the general supervision of the Bishop.      

Those carrying out these formally recognized lay ministries in the parish are commissioned by the Incumbent in a public worship Service.  As part of this commissioning a covenant is drawn up between the Incumbent and the lay minister.  This covenant specifies the responsibilities, training, screening, accountability, term, and review of the ministry.

Parish Lay Readers

 Parish Lay Readers have carried out a particularly important ministry in the life of our diocese.  A member of the parish becomes a Lay Reader by being asked by the Incumbent to take on this ministry and agreeing to do so.  The Incumbent then proposes the name of this person to a Vestry meeting and, with the approval of the Vestry, then commissions the candidate into the new ministry.  The members of the Vestry are to give careful consideration to this nomination and the members of the Advisory Board are to be given an opportunity to provide confidential feedback to the Incumbent on this nomination.

Parish Lay Readers may preach and conduct a Service of the Word, on occasion, during the absence of the Incumbent. On these occasions, the Incumbent remains accountable for the content of the sermon and the liturgy.    

When permanent Incumbents conclude their ministries and leave the parish the commissionings of parish Lay Readers remain in effect until the appointment of a new Incumbent.  It is traditional, at that point, that those holding non-stipendiary (not paid) appointments in the parish offer their resignations to the new Incumbent who may accept the resignations at that time, continue the appointments, or defer this decision until the new Incumbent becomes more familiar with the life of the parish.

Qualifications for Lay Readers  (Lay Readers’ Manual/2001)

  1. Any person who is a regular confirmed communicant in the Diocese of Algoma, a supporter of the parish financially, and who has reached his/her 16th birthday may be eligible to become a Lay Reader.
  2. It is expected that those seeking covenanting in the Diocese as Lay Readers are reasonably proficient at reading in public.
  3. Candidates should be skilled and informed members of the local Christian community.
  4. Candidates should be responding to the Lord’s call to serve on the Parish ministry team and prepared to assist the Incumbent in assigned duties.
  5. A standardized Form of Registration is provided in appendix A.
  6. All covenants must be over the Incumbent’s signature with his/her agreement as an affirmation of ministry in the life of the Church for the applicant.
  7. All Parochial Lay Reader applications must be supported by the general Vestry of the parish.
  8. All Diocesan Lay Reader applications must be supported by the Deanery Council.

Commissioning for Lay Ministries in the Diocese of Algoma

  1. The formal exercise of Lay Ministry is commissioned by, and responsible to, the Parish Incumbent under the general supervision of the Bishop.
  2. Ministries are commissioned by giving the Algoma Ministry Covenant certificate by the Parish Incumbent during public worship.
  3. Formal ministries include such roles as: Parish Lay Reader; Eucharistic Assistant; Server; Choir Member; Hospital Visitor; etc.
  4. These ministries are distinct from Parish Officials. Parish Officials are accountable to the vestry which elected them, or to the Incumbent, or to the Incumbent and Wardens who appointed them.
  5. The Doctrine and Worship Committee has prepared a form for the “Commissioning for Lay Ministries in the Church” which can appropriately be used either for formal lay ministries or parish officers.
  6. Ministry Covenant certificates have been sent to each parish and may be duplicated. Additional copies are available through the Bishop’s Administrative Assistant.
  7. Commissioning requires a covenant with the Parish Incumbent specifying responsibilities, training, screening, accountability, term, and review.
  8. A Lay Readers’ Manual and a recommended course of training are available in each parish. The Lay Readers’ Manual is available on the Diocesan website (
  9. Prior to commissioning, approval of the parish vestry is required for the selection of a parish Lay Reader. (There should be a real opportunity for a proposal of the name by the Incumbent with confidential feedback from the Advisory Board.)
  10. The names of all parochial Lay Readers, with contact information, shall be sent to the Deanery Wardens of Lay Readers following the completion of a training process acceptable to the Incumbent.
  11. When an Incumbent leaves, the Covenant of a Parochial Lay Reader remains in effect until the appointment of a new Incumbent.
  12. Diocesan Lay Readers continue to be licensed directly by the Bishop upon the recommendation of the Deanery Archdeacon, the candidate’s Incumbent, and with the approval of the Deanery Council

Diocesan Lay Readers

Diocesan Lay Readers differ from parish Lay Readers in that they are licensed directly by the Bishop upon the recommendation of the Deanery Archdeacon, the candidate’s parish Incumbent, and with the approval of the Deanery Council.  Diocesan Lay Readers functioning within a particular parish are under the direction and supervision of that parish Incumbent in the ministry that they carry out in that parish.

Lay Readers and lay ministers who are currently commissioned in other Algoma parishes may be invited by the Incumbent to carry out this ministry in the parish occasionally.  If the person is not currently commissioned in another Algoma parish, then the Bishop’s permission is needed and this should be discussed with the Bishop early enough in advance so that careful consideration can be given to this and reference checks can be made where this is advisable.

Eucharistic Assistants (Lay Readers’ Manual/2001)

  1. Lay Readers are automatically licenced to administer the Sacrament at the Eucharist without requiring a letter of permission from the Bishop.
  2. Eucharistic assistants need not be Lay Readers and covenants for laity to administer the Chalice should be made with the Incumbent of the Parish, after obtaining approval of the Parish Advisory Board.
  3. Eucharistic assistants may attend all educational functions and conferences intended for Lay Readers where the subject material is appropriate to them.

Parish Incumbents

(May 2014) 

*also refer to Executive Committee Policies

The Incumbent of the parish is responsible to the Bishop for seeing that the Screening In Faith program is carried out in the parish.   This does not mean that the Incumbent must do this work personally, but that the Incumbent must ensure that this is done, that the required Report is presented to the Annual Vestry Meeting, and that copies are forwarded to the territorial Archdeacon and to the Synod Office.  The failure on the part of the Incumbent to see that this is done properly is a disciplinary offence.

Clergy Ministry Inventory

Diocese of Algoma

Part of our effectiveness as Christian leaders, not to mention our growth as Christians, involves accountability.  We are social creatures and God has placed us in community both to nurture others into Christian maturity, as well as to be nurtured ourselves.  The trials of our ministry are, in part, intended for our sanctification, while our joys are intended to lead us to worship.  It is my earnest prayer that this inventory, as inadequate an instrument as it is, will lead us both to growth and worship.

The following inventory is drawn from the Ordinal.  These are the vows we made before God and the people of our Church in our ordination to the priesthood.  Of course, ministry involves all the baptized.  In undertaking to ‘edify’ the Church (BCP, p. 646; BAS, p. 647), we seek to recruit, train, inspire and equip all God’s people for God’s mission in the world.  And because our 2009-2014 Strategic Plan attempts to articulate how we see this mission unfolding in the Diocese of Algoma, the inventory also relates to some of the goals of the Plan.

Purpose of the Inventory
  1. To satisfy an objective of the 2009-2014 Strategic Plan, which is to ‘implement an effective Clergy Evaluation Process’:
    This should be based, at least in part, on the Benchmarks for a healthy Parish, as outlined in Strategic Objective 1, Strategy 1.  It should be overseen by the Executive Committee [. . .].
  1. To assist clergy and the congregations they serve in clarifying mutual expectations.
  2. To deepen mutual accountability between clergy and their parishes, their colleagues, and their bishop.
  3. To establish and promote priorities that embody the Seven Core Values and facilitate the overall goals of the 2009-2014 Strategic Plan.
  4. To provide a tool for assessing the professional development needs of clergy in the diocese.
  5. To assist clergy in reflecting truthfully and objectively on the stewardship of their time, resources, education and gifts, and to help them to respond to what they see in ways that make their lives more fulfilling and ministries more effective.
  6. To assist congregations and parishes in reflecting truthfully and objectively on the stewardship of their time, resources, education and gifts, and to help them to respond to what they see in ways that make their lives more fulfilling and ministries more effective.

The Clergy Ministry Inventory is meant to be a pastorally supportive tool.  Its usefulness depends on the existence of an environment of trust, so while it may identify underlying issues requiring intervention, it must not be used coercively.

The Inventory Process
  1. The Inventory will take place on an annual basis, preferably in conjunction with the anniversary of the incumbent’s ordination to the priesthood, at a time convenient for the territorial archdeacon.
  2. The process should involve a period of prayerful self-examination, preferably in a retreat setting, using the ordinal as a primary focus of reflection.  The incumbent will use this as an occasion to develop a set of ministry goals for the following year, using the approved form (attached).  The incumbent will begin goal setting with an appraisal of how well the previous year’s goals were met.
  3. Following this exercise, the incumbent will meet with the wardens, or one individual elected by the Advisory Board and one appointed by the incumbent, and the archdeacon to review his or her analysis of the prior year’s goals and the proposed goals for the year to come.  The outcome of the review will be a document containing an evaluation of last year’s goals and a statement of goals for the coming year that can be endorsed by all parties to the review.  This document will be signed by the incumbent, wardens and archdeacon and forwarded to the bishop.  These will be kept in the cleric’s personnel file.
  4. Archdeacons will set goals in a similar fashion, with the bishop acting in the place of the archdeacon.
Further Considerations
  1. This instrument will be administered only after the archdeacons have received some training in its use.
  2. Once this instrument receives the approval of the Bishop, it will be disseminated to all clergy and congregations.  This inventory and related documents will be available on the diocesan web site.

Clergy Ministry Inventory

In each category, list no fewer than one and no more than three goals related to how you wish to develop in each ministry area.  While some goals may not require the direct support of the parish, they reflect both a responsiveness to the vision and ministry objectives of the congregation as well as one’s own ministry objectives and personal ambitions as a disciple of Christ.

Ministry Area

Aspects to consider


What, if anything, is required from the Bishop or the parish in order for you to accomplish this goal?

Personal Life:

‘Will you do your best to pattern your life and that of your family in accordance with the teachings of Christ, so that you may be a wholesome example to your people?’ (BAS, p. 647)

‘Will you be diligent to frame and fashion your own self, and your family, according to the doctrine of Christ; and to make both yourself and it, as much as in you lieth, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ?’ (BCP, p. 652)

  • Quality of relationships with members of your family and parish (‘neither offend nor be occasion of offense’, BCP, p. 649; maintain ‘quietness, peace and love among all Christian people’, BCP, p. 652).
  • Quality of your personal prayer life (‘Will you persevere in prayer, both in public and in private?’ BAS, p. 647; ‘you will continually pray to God the Father, by the mediation of our only Saviour Jesus Christ, for the heavenly assistance of the Holy Ghost’ BCP, p. 650).
  • Involvement in the community outside of church.
  • Faithful observance of sabbath (days off; holidays).


‘Will you be diligent in prayers, and in reading of the holy Scriptures, and in such studies as help the knowledge of the same?’ (BCP, p. 652); ‘Will you be diligent in the reading and study of the holy scriptures, and in seeking the knowledge of such things as may make you a stronger and more able minister of Christ?’ (BAS, p. 647)

  • Discipline and pattern in daily Bible reading (‘by daily reading and weighing of the Scriptures, ye may wax riper and stronger in your ministry’ BCP, p. 650).
  • Intentional study of subjects related to effectiveness of ministry (‘apt and meet, for their learning and godly conversation, to exercise their ministry duly, to the honour of God and the edifying of his Church’ BCP, p. 645).
  • Use of opportunities for continuing education.

Leadership of Worship

‘You are to preach, to declare God’s forgiveness to penitent sinners, to pronounce God’s blessing, to preside at the administration of holy baptism and at the celebration of the mysteries of Christ’s body and blood (BAS, p. 646).

  • Quality of liturgical leadership (‘Be thou a faithful dispenser of the Word of God, and of his holy Sacraments’ BCP, p. 655).
  • Quality and effectiveness of preaching (‘Endeavour so to minister the word of God and the sacraments of the new covenant, that the reconciling love of Christ may be known and received’ BAS, p. 647).


‘Now you are called to work as a pastor, priest and teacher’ (BAS, p. 646).

  • The time given to, and context and content of your teaching (‘Be messengers, watchmen, and stewards of the Lord; teach, premonish, feed and provide for the Lord’s family’ BCP, p. 649; ‘Are you determined out of the Scriptures to instruct the people committed to your charge, and to teach nothing (as required of necessity to eternal salvation) but that which you shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved by Scripture?’ (BCP, p. 651).
  • Effective training of lay readers and servers.

Evangelism and Mission

‘It will be your task to proclaim by word and deed the gospel of Jesus Christ’ (BAS, p. 646)

  • Effectiveness in developing a missional focus for the parish and discipling of others (‘Proclaim the gospel of your salvation’ BAS, p. 649).
  • Effectiveness of preparation for baptism, confirmation and marriage.

Pastoral Engagement and Visitation

‘You are to love and serve the people among whom you work, caring alike for young and old, strong and weak, rich and poor’ (BAS, p. 646)

  • Diligence and faithfulness in visitation (‘In all that you do, you are to nourish Christ’s people from the riches of his grace, and strengthen then to glorify God in this life and in the life to come’ BAS, p. 646)
  • Effectiveness of counselling, recognising appropriate boundaries (‘Seek for Christ’s sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for his children who are in the midst of this sinful world’ BCP, p. 649)
  • Maintenance of confidentiality (‘Absolve and bless’ BAS, p. 649)

Collegiality and Diocesan Life

‘Will you, in accordance with the canons of this Church, obey your bishop and other ministers who may have authority over you and your work?’ (BAS, p. 645); ‘Will you reverently obey your Ordinary and other chief Ministers, unto whom is committed the charge and government over you? (BCP, p. 653)

  • Involvement in the affairs of your deanery and the diocese (‘Take your share in the councils of the Church’ BAS, p. 646)
  • Quality of your relationships with fellow clergy (labouring ‘with your fellow ministers’ BAS, p. 647)
  • Quality of your relationship with your bishop.

Parish Administration

‘To watch over them’ (BAS, p. 649)

  • Effectiveness in identifying and nurturing the gifts of others.
  • Effectiveness in leadership of church groups, including participation in church boards.
  • Faithfulness in fulfilling the administrative responsibilities of your position (ensuring diocesan forms and reports are carefully completed and promptly submitted).

ALMIGHTY God, who hath given you this will to do all these things: Grant also unto you strength and power to perform the same; that he may accomplish his work which he hath begun in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

November 2011

Once an Incumbent’s ministry in a parish ends the former Incumbent should have no further involvement with the parish for at least two years.  This rule is in place so that the parish and the succeeding Incumbent have the time, and the spiritual and emotional space needed, to build their own new relationship without the confusions and uncertainties that can arise from the presence of the former Incumbent.  This is often difficult for the former Incumbent and former parishioners but is part of the self-sacrifice that clergy take upon themselves in their ordination vows and in accepting a parish appointment.

During the interim period between the departure of an Incumbent and the appointment of a successor there can be circumstances in which the Archdeacon may ask the former Incumbent to be present or carry out some functions in the parish.  This is always an unusual circumstance, however, and only happens at the Archdeacon’s invitation and with the Bishop’s permission.

The new Incumbent of the parish may ask the former Incumbent to take part in parish events, or grant permission to the former Incumbent to occasionally carry out ordained functions involving former parishioners such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals.  This is always “at the pleasure” of the new Incumbent.

Interim Incumbents are appointed to a parish by the Bishop to help ensure that the ministry of the parish carries on as unimpeded as is possible in the time period between the leaving of one permanent Incumbent and the start of the ministry of a new permanent Incumbent.  Interim Incumbents are usually clergy, but laity may be appointed.  There are two kinds of interim incumbency:

  1. In the usual form an interim Incumbent is appointed with direction from the Bishop to carry on with the normal pattern of parish life as it was during the tenure of the previous permanent Incumbent before the vacancy in this position occurred.  In this kind of appointment the interim Incumbent should only suggest, or consent to, a major change in the parish’s normal pattern of ministry after careful consultation with the Bishop, and with the Bishop’s consent and direction.
  2. In some circumstances the Bishop may appoint an Interim Incumbent with a mandate to bring about changes in the pattern of ministry in the parish.  When this occurs the matter is carefully discussed between the Bishop and the interim Incumbent and these changes are undertaken by the Bishop’s direction and under the Bishop’s authority.

In addition to the Incumbent, the Bishop may appoint other clergy to the parish either by issuing them a Licence or by giving them a Letter of Permission or verbal permission.  The Incumbent is responsible to the Bishop for the ordained ministry carried out in the parish.   Such additional clergy as may be appointed to assist the Incumbent function only with the permission of the Incumbent and are under the Incumbent’s supervision and direction.      

They may be paid a full or part time stipend and, if so, are often referred to as curates.  They may be non-stipendiary and referred to as associates or honorary assistants.  Such assisting clergy should always be conscious of the servant nature of their ministry and should never allow themselves to appear to be at variance with the Incumbent.  To avoid any possible appearance of this they should not serve on the Advisory Board, concurrence committees, stand for election as a Warden or Lay Delegate to Synod, or serve on or be involved in any committee dealing with contentious matters in the life of the parish.

Other clergy who are members of the Parish but not functioning in a clerical capacity

Other clergy, such as those who are retired or have moved to Algoma from other diocese, may be members of the parish and make valuable contributions to its life.   However, as with clergy bearing the Bishop’s appointment to the parish, they should not serve on the Advisory Board, concurrence committees, stand for election as a Warden or Lay Delegate to Synod, or serve on or be involved in any committee dealing with contentious matters in the life of the parish. 

The question often comes up as to when the Bishop’s permission is required for an incumbent to invite a guest to give leadership in the congregation.  Pulpit exchanges (not involving sacramental ministry) with local clergy of other denominations, which are planned in advance with the agreement of the advisory boards, generally do not require the permission of the Bishop.

Local commissioned lay readers may preach and conduct a Service of the Word on occasion, during the absence of the incumbent.  On these occasions, the incumbent is still accountable for the content of the sermon and the liturgy.

Where a person is not commissioned or licensed in Algoma, the Bishop’s permission must be obtained well in advance and well before the individual involved is invited to officiate at worship, preach, or administer the sacraments.  Full details must be provided in a written memo with sufficient lead-time (three weeks), to allow for the Synod Office to clarify arrangements and conduct reference checks, which is the normal procedure for visitors from beyond Algoma.


Marriage for Un-baptized Persons

(November 2006)

One Party Un-baptized

Where one party to a marriage is un-baptized, the rubrics require reference to the Bishop. There is a general permission from the Bishop of Algoma for permission to conduct such services without further reference to the Bishop so long as the officiant has had a pastoral conversation with the un-baptized person about the value and importance of baptism. In such cases baptism should never be a requirement preceding marriage.

Where Both Parties are Un-baptized

The rubrics presume that the sacrament of Christian marriage would be provided to baptized persons. Where people are seeking Christian marriage, one or both parties should be encouraged to be baptized prior to the wedding. If an Incumbent wishes to conduct a wedding service between two people who are un-baptized, a written request should be given to the Bishop well before a wedding service is planned, giving the pastoral rationale.

Place of Marriage

  1. The normal place of marriage in the Anglican Church shall be an Anglican Church or chapel.
  2. All Anglican weddings in the Diocese of Algoma shall be under the supervision of a licensed Algoma incumbent.
  3. Under the general approval of the Bishop, incumbents may authorize a wedding ceremony in a place other than a church or chapel, where one or both of the parties are regularly part of an Anglican worshiping community, and in a setting where the sacred and public nature of Christian marriage will be upheld.
  4. Where there is not a pre-existing, Anglican pastoral link with one of the parties, special permission for a ceremony outside of a church or chapel may be obtained from the Bishop, if in the opinion of the Bishop:
    1. there is not a church or chapel within the proximity of the community where the marriage is to take place
    2. the church or the chapel is inadequate in size
    3. the church or chapel is inaccessible for intended service participants
    4. there are reasons re the health of the couple or their immediate family
  5. Where a marriage ceremony is held outside of a church or chapel, Matrimonial Commission procedures, liturgical requirements, and the directions of the Bishop are fully applicable.
  6. The marriage should be registered in the parish marriage register of the incumbent under whose supervision the marriage was solemnized.
  7. When an incumbent plans the place of marriage in what would generally be considered the “bounds” of another Algoma incumbent, s/he shall obtain the consent of the other incumbent beforehand. See also General Synod Canon on Marriage, Canon XXI, and Regulation 11 (c) The officiating minister must have obtained the consent of the incumbent of the parish in which the marriage is to be solemnized if the officiating minister is not licensed to that parish.
  8. Algoma Clergy wishing to conduct weddings in other dioceses shall do so under the authority of a duly licensed Incumbent of that Diocese who will obtain permission from the Bishop of that Diocese.

Blessing of a Civil Marriage

(General Synod Canon and Bishop’s Policy 1986)

General Synod Marriage Canon (Canon XXI available at the Anglican Church of Canada website: and diocesan policies in regard to marriage apply to the Blessing of Civil Marriages as well as to marriages performed by Anglican clergy in this diocese. This includes an application to the Marriage Commission in the case of divorced persons.

The Incumbent of a parish is responsible for ensuring that these guidelines are followed within the parish, and for reviewing the practice of the administration of the sacrament within the parish from time to time.

The Bishop shall make a pastoral decision as to the distribution of the reserved sacrament by deacons or lay people. In most cases it should be seen as a short term arrangement, to be utilized on a temporary basis in exceptional circumstances or emergencies. It should not be the norm or a long term arrangement; however, regular distribution of the reserved sacrament may be implemented where there is a deacon or lay pastor in charge of a parish. At least once a month a full celebration of the Eucharist should take place in the receiving community.

The distribution of the reserved sacrament should only be done by people specifically licensed to do this by the Bishop. A license as a diocesan or parochial lay reader, or as a eucharistic assistant, does not automatically include this function. Licences to distribute the reserve sacrament will be limited in time and reviewed regularly.

Where there is a need for such specially licensed eucharistic assistants the incumbent of the parish will write to the Bishop explaining this need and asking the Bishop to issue these licenses. As part of this the incumbent will explain to the Bishop the training program that will be used and the manner in which the distribution of the reserved sacrament will be carried out. The training plan should be updated and re-approved by the Bishop on a two year cycle.

This request for licensing must be accompanied by a Motion from the Vestry or Advisory Board requesting that such licenses be issued by the Bishop to the individual or individuals named in the Motion.

Very few people in the past have had permission to use the Reserved Sacrament or to perform extended communion in the context of a public Worship Service. This provision will only be used for Lay Pastors or Deacons under special circumstances, and requires the direct permission of the Bishop.


In the act of reserving the sacrament for distribution in another community, the consecrating community is, in effect, extending its altar and altar rail in both distance and time to include the receiving community. Thus it is important to maintain links between the two, and for the two to be in close proximity. The receiving community should know where the sacrament for its use is coming from and when it was consecrated, and the consecrating community should know where the reserved sacrament is going and when it will be used. Whenever possible the person who will be administering the sacrament should be present for the consecration of it.

This connection can be drawn, among other places, during the prayer of consecration. In the Book of Common Prayer, for example, the paragraph at the bottom of page 82 can be amended to read “we thy humble servants, with all thy holy Church, both here and in the congregation of …, remembering etc.”. Prayer One in the Book of Alternative Services can be amended as follows: “Send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon your church in the congregation of …, and upon these gifts etc.” (page 195, second last paragraph); the other prayers may be similarly amended.

The reserved sacrament normally should be kept for no longer than one month. All remaining elements should be disposed of reverently before the next celebration of the Eucharist.

Transporting, Storing, and Distributing the Reserved Elements

The reserved elements should be transported from the service in which they are consecrated with care, respect, and reverence. They should be taken in appropriate containers directly to a place of security where they will be administered or stored. They should be carried only by those licensed to perform this function.

The elements should be stored with reverence and dignity in a tabernacle or aumbry if such is available, in a safe place in the church, or in the home of the administrant. The place in which they are kept should be secured and marked in some fashion, such as with a candle, a light, a cross, or other marker.

Immediately before the service at which the elements are to be distributed, they should be placed on the altar on a corporal or purificator, and covered with a white veil until the offertory. They should be treated in such a way that they are not confused with unconsecrated elements.

Guidelines for Use at Services in the Church

Christ has promised to be among us when we are gathered in a community as Christians. Consecration of the bread and wine to become the body and blood of Christ is not magic, but takes place by the actions of the priest and congregation together as celebrants of the Eucharist. Thus when communion is administered from the reserved sacrament, the Prayer of Consecration is not used.

Order of Service for Distribution of Communion from the Reserved Sacrament according to The Book of Alternative Services:

  1. The Gathering of the Community, p. 185 or 230
  2.  Opening greeting
  3.  Glory to God, p. 186, or a choice from p. 231
  4. Collect of the day
  5. Proclamation of the Word, p. 187 or p. 232
  6. Readings of the day
  7. Sermon
  8. Creed
  9. Prayers of the people
  10. Confession
  11. Assurance of pardon (“you” is changed to “us”)
  12. The Peace
  13. The Offertory
  14. Communion
  15. Lord’s Prayer, p. 211 or p. 245
  16. (if desired) Agnus Dei or Prayer of Humble Access, p. 246
  17. Invitation to communion (eg. “the gifts of God …”)
  18. Communion
  19. Prayer after communion, p. 214 or p. 247 and Dismissal, p. 215 or p. 249 — no closing blessing

Order of Service for Distribution of Communion from the Reserved Sacrament according to The Book of Common Prayer:

  1.  Opening prayers, p. 67
  2.  Summary of the law, p. 69
  3. Collect of the day
  4. Readings of the day
  5. Creed
  6. Sermon
  7. Offertory
  8. Prayers of the people
  9. Confession
  10. Assurance of pardon — the collect for Trinity 21, p. 252 is used
  11. Comfortable words, p. 78
  12. The peace, p. 83
  13. Prayer of humble access
  14. Agnus Dei
  15. Communion
  16. Lord’s Prayer, p. 85
  17. Post-communion prayer
  18. Gloria in Excelsis
  19. Dismissal — no closing blessing
  20. Hymns may be added as desired.

 The booklet, Public Distribution of Holy Communion by Deacons and Lay People, published by the Anglican Book Centre, has three forms of service for public worship when communion is from the reserved sacrament. The forms follow the two rites from the Book of Alternative Services, as well as the Ante-Communion from the Book of Common Prayer.

For the Distribution of the Sacrament to the Sick and Shut-ins

As the altar and altar rail are extended from the consecrating community to the receiving community, so are they extended from the consecrating or receiving community who are not able to attend through reason of age, sickness, infirmity, or other limitations.

Whenever possible, communion should be taken directly from the celebration of the Eucharist to those who are not able to attend, with the administrants returning directly to the church to report to the congregation and the incumbent about the person to whom they have taken the sacrament, and to return and clean the vessels. The administration in the home or hospital room thus becomes a part of the community celebration through the actions of going out and returning to the parish church. It may be necessary to make arrangements with the hospital in advance.

The introductions to, and rubrics of, the services of Communion under Special Circumstances (p. 257) and Ministry to the Sick (p. 553) in The Book of Alternative Services should be read and followed with care.

The prayer on p. 556 may be amended as follows to emphasize the connection with the parish community:

“The Church of Christ, and the parish of “X”, of which we are members. Prayer # 41, p. 55 of the Book of Common Prayer may be used as a collect for the same purpose.

All worship in Anglican worship spaces in the Diocese requires the licence and authorization of the Bishop of Algoma. From time to time other religious groups make requests to share Anglican worship spaces. These will be evaluated by the Bishop on the following bases:

  1. The primary consideration for sharing space should not be simply financial. The two faith communities should be sharing on the basis of common beliefs, values, and mission.
  2. Signage, notices and advertisements should not undermine in any way the identity and visible Anglican presence in the community.
  3. Temporary arrangements require the consent of the incumbent, the wardens, the advisory board and the Bishop. Ongoing permanent sharing also requires the consent of the Vestry.
  4. Special care needs to be taken concerning the authorizing of remarriages in Anglican churches that have not been approved by the Matrimonial Commission. Where there is consistent shared use of a building, non-Anglican remarriage ceremonies may be permitted by the Bishop.
  5. The financial arrangements must be equitable; i.e. if two congregations are sharing one building, primarily for Sunday worship, it would be unfair for Anglicans to pay around-the- clock weekly expenses and for a different denomination to simply rent time on an hourly basis for Sunday morning.
  6. Does the group making the request have a history of cooperative, mutual relationships, or competitiveness?
  7. The group making the request shall maintain and keep in force during the term hereof, at its own expense, comprehensive general liability insurance in an amount of not less than two million dollars ($2,000,000.00) per occurrence for bodily injury for any one or more persons or damage to the property of others. Such insurance shall include the parish as an additional insured, shall contain a cross liability/severability of interests clause, shall be non-contributing with, will apply only as primary and excess to any other insurance available to the parish, and shall include thirty (30) days written notice to the parish of any cancellation or termination thereof. The group shall provide evidence of insurance in the form of a certificate of insurance to the parish prior to the date/period of the use of the facilities.

Postulancy Process in the Diocese of Algoma

In the Anglican Church some of its members are set aside, through the sacrament of Ordination, to carry out particular roles.  These include ministries of the administration of the sacraments, preaching, pastoral care, and leadership.  These ordained ministers form the three Orders of deacons, priests, and bishops.

We believe that God calls individual members of our Church to these ordained ministries in two ways.  The individual member hears and responds to that call, and the Church reaches out to individuals in whom it sees the gifts needed in an ordained minister.  This discernment of God’s call by the individual and the Church is one of the most important things that we do together in furthering Jesus Christ’s mission and ministry. 

This discernment about potential ordination is known as the Postulancy Process in our diocese and a person who the Bishop accepts into this process is known as a postulant (from the Latin: postulare, to ask).  A person is ordained first as a deacon, and then may be ordained as a priest, and then may later still be called as a bishop.

The ministry of deacon is a distinct order in the church. A person with a permanent vocation as a deacon reflects, and provides leadership for, the ministry of servanthood that belongs to all the baptized. Under the direct authority of the Bishop, deacons exercise a ministry of service beyond the Church, particularly to the vulnerable and marginalized. The deacon’s primary focus is on the Church active in the world.

According to the practice of the Anglican Church of Canada, however, the Church ordains some persons as deacons with the further intention of ordaining them as presbyters (“priests”) at a later date. (These individuals are often referred to as “transitional deacons.”) In this case the diaconate serves as a testing and training period during which individuals and the Church have an opportunity for further careful discernment about whether they are being called to the priesthood.

A person who feels called towards Ordination meets first with the Pastoral Chaplain in their Deanery.  A person who is considered for our Postulancy Process should be confirmed, received from another denomination, or be a communicant in the Anglican Communion for at least three years and should be an active member of an Anglican worshipping community.

There is a Pastoral Chaplain in each of the five Deaneries of our Diocese.  The Pastoral Chaplain discusses this felt call with the person and prepares a report for the Bishop with their recommendation.  The Pastoral Chaplains are:

The Rt. Reverend Victoria Matthews (Thunder Bay-North Shore)

The Reverend Canon Bob Elkin (Algoma)

The Reverend Rhonda Hirst (Sudbury-Manitoulin)

The Reverend Heather Manuel (Muskoka)

The Venerable Linda White (Temiskaming)

The Reverend Canon Diane Hilpert-McIlroy (Diocesan)

At times individuals from outside the diocese, particularly students at theological colleges, may approach the Bishop about a potential ordination in our diocese.

At this point the Bishop may meet with the individual, or ask them to meet with the Postulancy Commission.

The diocesan Postulancy Commission is appointed by the Bishop to give her advice on matters concerning Postulancy in the diocese as a whole and to interview those who wish to become Postulants in our diocese, or who the Bishop has already admitted to our Postulancy process.  The members reflect a range of the life of our Church in Algoma including both laity and clergy, men and women, a variety of professional experiences, theological scholarship, geography, and involvement in the Church at the parish deanery, diocesan, provincial, national and international levels.

The Bishop and the Postulancy Commission work with the individual in developing a course of ministerial formation that may involve theological studies, practical work in a parish or other ministry setting, and personal spiritual growth.  With the assistance of the Pastoral Chaplain, an individual being considered for ordination is asked to prepare a number of background materials, written personal vocational and spiritual reflections, and endorsements from individuals and from the community in which they worship and serve.

The Postulancy Commission generally meets at Thorneloe University in Sudbury.  The Commission Members are:

The Rt. Rev. Anne Germond, Bishop of Algoma

The Ven. Dr. Harry Huskins

Mrs. Mary Buie

The Rev. Canon Bob Elkin

The Rev. Dr. Bob Derrenbacker

The Rev. Dr. Jay Koyle

Ms. Kate Scott

Ms. Debbie DeBakker

ACPO (Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination)

Ordination is not just to the ministry in Algoma, but to the Anglican Church as a whole, and to those other denominations with whom we share a mutual recognition of Ordination.  For this reason the Bishop may refer someone she is considering ordaining as a priest to ACPO.  The ACPO discernment process is similar to that of our diocesan Postulancy Commission.  The person is invited to an ACPO conference with about twelve to twenty other candidates.  These conferences are held twice a year in Toronto.  They usually take place over a weekend and consist of worship, prayer, and a number of interviews with a range of assessors who have broad experience in our Church.  These assessors then make a recommendation on Ordination to the Bishop and discuss this recommendation with the candidate.

  1. Inquirers from within the Diocese meet with their parish priest to discuss the possibility of postulancy.  If the parish priest thinks that the inquirer is a good candidate for postulancy, and that this is an appropriate time for them to explore this possibility, the parish priests informs the Bishop and the Deanery Pastoral Chaplain of this.
  2. The inquirer meets with the Deanery Pastoral Chaplain who informs the inquirer of the process, and discusses with the inquirer their interest in an ordained ministry.  The inquirer provides the Deanery Pastoral Chaplain with a Resume and any other material that they think would be helpful.  The Deanery Pastoral Chaplain then writes a report to the Bishop about this with their own recommendation as to whether to take this consideration of postulancy further and what kind of ministerial formation might be undertaken.
  3. The Bishop considers the Deanery Pastoral Chaplain’s report and may discuss the matter with the Chaplain.  The Bishop decides whether the inquirer should proceed further in the postulancy process at this time.  If the inquirer is asked to proceed further the Bishop may meet with them at this point or later in the process.
  4. Typically, the Bishop will ask the inquirer to meet with the Diocesan Postulancy Commission.  The Commission members will discuss with the inquirer their felt call to ordained ministry and how they see this being carried out in the diocese of Algoma.  This may mean one or a number of on-going interviews over the course of the inquirer’s ministerial formation.  As part of this, the inquirer will be asked to complete the forms used by the Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination. These forms are used as a matter of convenience so that the inquirer does not have to complete two sets of forms in which much of the material is duplicated.
  5. The Bishop may decide at any time in this process to name the inquirer as a postulant in the Diocese of Algoma. 
  6. After an interview with the Postulancy Commission the person being considered will then be asked to attend an interview session with the Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination.  ACPO is a program of the national Church which provides recommendations to diocesan Bishops about ordination and ministerial formation.  The ACPO sessions for the province of Ontario are usually held twice a year in Toronto.

It is part of the office of Bishop in our Anglican tradition to make decisions, on behalf of the people or our diocese and the wider Church, about Ordination and this relationship between a potential ordinand and the Bishop is a personal one. At this point the postulant and the Bishop will meet, pray, and work together on the discernment of whether or not God is calling the postulant to Ordination at this time.

Full Time Stipendiary Ministry

  1. Ordinations will not normally be planned until there is a recommendation for ordination from the Postulancy Commission.
  2. Ordinations will only be planned after a specific appointment has been obtained, or where the Bishop has a specific placement for a postulant.
  3. Postulants will be instructed throughout their training that graduation does not obligate  the Bishop to ordain or nominate for placement.
  4. The Bishop and the Executive Archdeacon will assist sponsored Algoma students who  cannot be placed or who might not be placed to become aware of possibilities elsewhere in the church.

Non-Stipendiary and Part-time

  1. Applicants being considered for non-stipendiary ministry must satisfy the equivalency  procedures for theological training established by Postulancy Commission.
  2. Non-stipendiary applicants will be assessed in the normal way by the Postulancy Commission.
  3. The timing of ordination decisions for those in a non-seminary stream will normally be expanded.
  4. Candidates will not normally be received from outside the Diocese for these  ministries. Part of the assessment will normally be a long-time service and exposure in lay ministries within the Diocese.
  5. People should not be accepted into these ministries if they have any lingering sense of injustice or disappointment about not being full-time stipendiary.
  6. Ministries in this category will normally be term appointments by covenant.


(March 2012)

A congregation considering using games of chance as a way of fundraising should give careful and prayerful consideration to the following principles:

  • Raffles and lotteries should build Christian community – they should both exhibit and promote Christian fellowship.
  • Congregations should be respectful of the ‘weaker conscience’ – if raffles or lotteries are the source of conflict in the congregation, it is better not to have them.
  • Raffles and lotteries should enhance the mission of the church – both the intention and the public perception should be that this activity is related to the aim of making disciples for Jesus Christ.
  • Raffles and lotteries should not pose a temptation to any with a gambling weakness.
  • Raffles and lotteries should allow anyone to participate – that is, they should not be an occasion to disenfranchise a member of a congregation on the basis of financial means.
  • ln the same vein, they should not serve to emphasise economic disparity in a congregation (i.e., they should not privilege wealthier members who may be able to improve their chances of winning).
  • Foundational to all of the above, of course, is the matter of greed: – the church’s motives in hosting raffles and lotteries must always be above suspicion and not take advantage of the acquisitive nature of the human heart.
  • Congregations shall not host raffles or lotteries that do not comply with provincial regulations (see the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario website).

In the majority of cases, the selling of lottery tickets outside of the church community (e.g., in shopping malls) cannot adequately honour these principles.


Crests are sometimes worn by clergy and lay readers on their prayer scarfs (tippets), but they should never be worn on deacon’s or priest’s stoles. When worn on a prayer scarf in this way they are “livery.”  This is a medieval term meaning a badge worn by a servant to identify the servant’s master.  There are often questions about what the correct crest is to wear, and who is entitled to wear these crests. The answer to this question “who is the servant serving.” 

Parish clergy and lay readers are entitled to wear the crest of the parish, if the parish has one, because they are serving the people of the parish. Diocesan clergy are entitled to wear the Algoma diocesan crest because they are serving the Bishop. Diocesan lay readers are also entitled to do this because they are serving the Bishop.

There is a second kind of badge that has on it “arms.”  This kind of badge is not that of a servant but of someone who has these arms “of their own right.”  As an example, the College of Heralds has granted official arms to the Diocese of Algoma.  Our Bishop, “as a matter of right,” wears these diocesan arms surmounted with a bishop’s mitre.  In the same way, the College of Heralds has granted St. Luke’s Cathedral official arms and those serving in the Cathedral would have the right to wear these arms on their prayer scarfs.