Members should continue in roles: survey

Wood plank background with netting on the side and a logo that says Cast the Net: Regular session of Synod 2022
 on September 1, 2022

A survey of Synod members shows strong support for keeping the diocese’s General Synod members and Synod Council members in their roles for the remainder of this year and into 2023.

The first question in the survey asked Synod members if they agreed that the General Synod members elected at the diocese’s Synod in November 2021 should serve as members representing the diocese at the next session of General Synod when that gathering is scheduled.

General Synod was supposed to be held this summer but was postponed to at least 2023 due to the pandemic. The diocese’s Constitution states that at a regular session of Synod immediately preceding a meeting of General Synod, Synod must elect its General Synod members.

Of the 346 Synod members who replied to the question, 315 answered “yes” and 31 answered “no”.

The second question in the survey asked Synod members if they agreed that Synod Council members elected at the Synod in November 2021 should remain in office until the end of the regular session of Synod in 2023, which coincides with the end of the diocese’s governance pilot project.

The regular term of office for a Synod Council member is to serve until the end of the next session of Synod. This is usually for two years; however, since the diocese is holding a meeting of Synod three years in a row, it was recommended that the current members continue in office until the end of the governance pilot project, to provide continuity. The pilot project is expected to conclude with the 2023 Synod.

Of the 346 Synod members who responded to the question, 332 answered “yes” and 14 answered “no”.

Since the Synod members who responded to the questions indicated their overwhelming agreement that those elected in 2021 to General Synod and Synod Council should continue to hold these positions, the planning for Synod on Nov. 17-18, 2022 will take this direction.

The survey was emailed to 597 voting members of Synod on May 27. As of June 24, 346 responses were received, translating into a response rate of 58 per cent.  A reasonable response rate is anything above 50 per cent.  

Here are the diocese’s General Synod members:


  • Bishop Andrew Asbil
    (Bishop of Toronto)
  • Bishop Riscylla Shaw
    (Bishop Suffragan)
  • Bishop Kevin Robertson
    (Bishop Suffragan)

Youth Member

  • Finn Keesmaat-Walsh
    (Church of the Redeemer, Bloor St.)

Clerical Members

  • The Rev. Canon Dr. Stephen Fields
    (St. James Cathedral)
  • The Rev. Molly Finlay
    (St. John the Baptist, Norway)
  • The Rev. Roshni Jayawardena
    (Trinity-St. Paul, Port Credit)
  • The Rev. Mark Regis
    (St. Mary and St. Martha)
  • The Rev. Canon Nicola Skinner
    (Grace Church, Markham)
  • The Rev. Claudette Taylor
    (Epiphany and St. Mark, Parkdale)
  • The Very Rev. Stephen Vail
    (St. James Cathedral)

Lay Members

  • Chris Ambidge, ODT
    (Church of the Redeemer, Bloor St)
  • Yvonne Murray, ODT
    (St. John the Divine, Scarborough)
  • Gail Smith
    (St. Andrew, Scarborough)
  • Marion Thompson, ODT
    (St. Mark, Port Hope)
  • David Toycen, ODT
    (Trinity, Streetsville)
  • Laura Walton, ODT
    (Holy Trinity, Clearview)
  • Mary Walsh, ODT
    (St. John the Baptist, Oak Ridges)

The membership of Synod Council is as follows:

Office Holders

  • Bishop Andrew Asbil (Chair)
  • Bishop Riscylla Shaw
  • Bishop Kevin Robertson
  • Canon Clare Burns (Chancellor)
  • The Rev. Andrew MacDonald
    (Honorary Clerical Secretary)
  • Sheila Robson
    (Honorary Lay Secretary)
  • Canon Robert Saffrey
    (Executive Director), non-voting

Committee Chairs

  • Chancellor Clare Burns
    (Risk and Governance Committee)
  • Delores Lawrence, ODT
    (Human Resources Committee)
  • George Lewis, ODT
    (Finance Committee)
  • Stuart Hutcheson, ODT, and Peter Patterson, ODT
    (Property Committee)

Bishop’s Appointments

  • The Rev. Kenute Francis
  • The Rev. Lucia Lloyd
  • Major the Rev. Canon Brad Smith
  • Finn Keesmaat-Walsh
  • The Rev. Kevin Wong

Elected at Synod

  • Chris Ambidge, ODT
  • The Rev. Canon Simon Bell
  • The Rev. Canon Dr. Stephen Fields
  • The Rev. Canon Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert, SSJD
  • The Rev. Maria Ling
  • Heather McGregor, ODT
  • The Rev. Jesse Parker
  • David Toycen, ODT
  • Laura Walton, ODT
  • Eirene Khean Cheng Wee


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