Melissa Skelton Elected an Archbishop

The Rt. Rev. Melissa M. Skelton, Bishop of New Westminster since 2014, was elected Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of BC and Yukon on the first ballot on May 12.

She is the first woman to be elected an archbishop in the Anglican Church of Canada. Bishops Logan McMenamie (British Columbia) and Larry Robertson (Yukon) also stood for election.

The Ecclesiastical Province of BC and Yukon, one of four provinces of the Anglican Church of Canada, comprises six dioceses:

  • British Columbia (Vancouver Island and the coastal islands)
  • Caledonia (northern British Columbia)
  • Kootenay (the eastern part of British Columbia, including the Okanagan)
  • New Westminster (the urban and suburban communities of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, including the Sunshine Coast, from Powell River to Hope).
  • Territory of the People (central British Columbia)
  • Yukon

Archbishop Skelton will replace the Most Rev. John Privett, Bishop of Kootenay, who resigned as metropolitan effective April 30. He will complete his ministry as a diocesan bishop May 31.

With Skelton’s election, the metropolitan’s crozier returns to the Diocese of New Westminster after 25 years. The 7th Bishop of New Westminster, Archbishop Douglas Hambidge, was metropolitan from 1981 to 1993.

“I’m thrilled and deeply grateful for the support of so many in this process: the Provincial House of Bishops, Executive Council members, and those who worked diligently to create the electronic/phone balloting process that we used today,” the newly elected archbishop said.

“Succeeding Archbishop John Privett is a humbling task. My hope and conviction is that we’re now embarking on a time of increasing cooperation and purpose in the life of our province that will build on Archbishop Privett’s good work over the past nine years.

“About being the first woman Metropolitan in the Anglican Church of Canada, all that I can say is thanks be to God for the privilege.”

Archbishop Skelton takes office immediately and will begin by leading meetings of the Provincial Executive. She will be installed at the commencement of the Provincial Synod, to be held Sept. 14-16 at Sorrento, B.C., and will preside at the synod.

Adapted from a report by Randy Murry of the Diocese of New Westminster


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