Gambling ads, vocations part of province’s discussions

 on January 30, 2024

The Diocese of Toronto held its Synod in November and elected its delegates to the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario’s Synod, which will be held in September 2024 in Sault Ste. Marie. At that time, the province will be saying thank you to some Toronto members who will be finishing their term and welcoming others who will be joining the Synod, along with members from the other six dioceses that comprise the ecclesiastical province. We offer thanks to both these groups of volunteers.

The fall 2023 meeting of the current Provincial Synod took place in Hamilton in the Diocese of Niagara. This in-person, week-long gathering included meetings of the Provincial House of Bishops, the executive officers, Provincial Council, OPCOTE and a follow-up discussion to our vocations conference. Similar themes ran through all the meetings. The discussion around vocations continued, as it is a provincial priority, but there was also an in-depth discussion on gambling ads in Ontario. Archbishop Linda Nicholls, the Primate, asked for a review and discussion of a white paper on gambling ads. (The paper can be found at The outcome of the review and discussion was that the Ontario House of Bishops supported a request to ban gambling ads in Ontario, with the further support of Provincial Council. The full story can be found in the Anglican Journal’s January edition. While vocations and the white paper took up significant discussion time, the meetings also addressed budgeting, safe church resources, and continuing social justice work as a province.

The upcoming meetings this spring will highlight similar topics along with the ongoing focus on vocations and formation, which has been the province’s central focus throughout this triennium, along with discussions on how to continue this work in the months and years to come. There will be a focus on incubator parishes that identify and nurture vocations, structural integration, promoting vocations, lifelong learning, mentoring and structures. All discussions are meant to work in conjunction with OPCOTE in assessing the best ways to move this conversation and work forward.

This spring’s Provincial Council meeting will also look at potential agenda items for our larger fall meeting, which will take place in Sault Ste. Marie. This week-long September event will once again focus on vocations as well as the business of Synod. We will look toward the next triennium’s work along with the election of members to the next Provincial Council, which does the work of the province in between synods. It will be decided who will attend those meetings, as chosen by their diocese. The speaker at the fall gathering will be the Most Rev. Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York in the UK. Along with the regular business of the Provincial Synod, we hope to spend time at the Shingwauk Residential School Centre at the University of Algoma and on the land of the former Shingwauk and Wawanosh Indian Residential Schools in Sault Ste. Marie.

2024 will be a busy time in the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario as it plots its way into a new triennium of work and ministry. The work will continue to build bridges between the seven dioceses and share resources that will enhance ministry and relationships. New members will continue the work that was begun in the last triennium while bringing innovative ideas and gifts to the table. The province is blessed to have volunteers and staff who continue to give of their time and talents, and for that we give thanks.


The Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario comprises the dioceses of Algoma, Huron, Ontario, Moosonee, Niagara, Ottawa and Toronto.


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