The guessing is over. Archbishop Colin Johnson announced at Diocesan Council on Sept. 29 where the diocese’s three new suffragan bishops will serve.
Bishop-elect Riscylla Walsh Shaw will be the area bishop of Trent-Durham. Bishop-elect Kevin Robertson will be the area bishop of York-Scarborough. Bishop-elect Jenny Andison will be the area bishop of York-Credit Valley. (Bishop Peter Fenty will remain the area bishop of York-Simcoe.)
The bishops-elect will officially begin their duties on Jan. 1, 2017. They will be consecrated on Jan. 7 at St. Paul, Bloor Street.
“I think they will each bring incredible gifts and skills to the areas they are appointed to,” said Archbishop Johnson.
In appointing Bishop-elect Walsh Shaw to Trent-Durham, he cited her passion for ministry in small communities as well as large ones. As a Metis who has been deeply involved in the Truth and Reconciliation process, she will help the diocese reach out to Indigenous people in the area.
Bishop-elect Robertson will bring “energy and grace” to York-Scarborough, he said, while Bishop-elect Andison, as the diocese’s former Bishop’s Officer for Mission, will bring “creative energy” to both traditional and fresh expressions of church in York-Credit Valley.
All the bishops-elect are in their mid-40s and represent a generational transition in leadership, he said. “I think it is a sign of the energy and excitement of the diocese. They will provide leadership to the Canadian church for a long time to come, and the fact that we have elected such capable people with enormous gifts is a really good sign for the life of the church.”
He added: “We need to pray for them and also for their families because this will be a major transition for them as well.”
The bishops-elect were chosen by the diocese’s Synod on Sept. 17 at St. Paul, Bloor Street. The elections were necessary after the translation of Bishop Linda Nicholls, formerly the area bishop of Trent-Durham, to the Diocese of Huron and the announced retirements of Bishop Philip Poole (York-Credit Valley) and Bishop Patrick Yu (York-Scarborough).
Trent-Durham has 43 parishes and 61 churches. It is the largest geographical area of the diocese, stretching from Pickering to Brighton and from Lake Ontario to Haliburton. York-Scarborough consists of 55 parishes in the central and eastern part of Toronto. York-Credit Valley consists of 50 parishes in the western part of Toronto and extending out to Clarkson. York-Simcoe, located in the northwest part of the diocese, has 47 parishes.
Bishop-elect Walsh Shaw has been the incumbent of Christ Church, Bolton since 2009. Previous to that she was the incumbent of the Parish of Minden-Kinmount. Bishop-elect Robertson has been the incumbent of Christ Church, Deer Park in Toronto since 2011. Before that he served incumbencies at St. Nicholas, Birch Cliff in Toronto and St. Peter, Oshawa. Bishop-elect Andison has been the incumbent of St. Clement, Eglinton in Toronto since 2013. She also served was an associate priest at St. Paul, Bloor Street.
Archbishop Johnson said the Ontario House of Bishops unanimously concurred with the election of the new bishops.