Primate visits the diocese

Pictured (left to right) are Jacqueline Stober, senior associate priest, Christ Church Cathedral; John Steele; Eric Partridge, diocesan executive archdeacon; Bishop Anna Greenwood-Lee, bishop of the Diocese of Islands and Inlets; Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; Sean Tiernay; Jeannine Friesen, priest in charge, Christ Church Cathedral; and Lon Towstego, incumbent at the parish of Central Saanich and archdeacon of the Western, Peninsula and Gulf Islands region. Photo copyright: J. Abram Photography.
 on June 4, 2024

From April 19 to 24, Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, visited the Diocese of Islands and Inlets. During that time, the Primate took part in the Women’s Spring Retreat, which you can read about in this issue, and presided over Choral Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral. You can see a gallery of images from the Evensong below. Archbishop Linda also spent time at St Peter’s, Lakehill and St Mark’s, Qualicum Beach. You can see photos from and read about the primate’s visit to St Mark’s below.

Archbishop Nicholls announced her retirement earlier this year, which will be effective Sept. 15, 2024.

Choral Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral

Primate visits St Mark’s, Qualicum Beach

Words by Elizabeth Northcott


It’s not every day that your bishop calls and asks that you host the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada! “Oh, and by the way Elizabeth,” she continued, “make certain that whatever you plan has the whole of your archdeaconry represented.”

The archdeaconry for which I am canonically responsible is called the Mid-North Island region. There are ten parishes in this region from Port Hardy to Nanoose Bay, and from Tofino to Denman Island. Our parish of St Mark’s was to host the region in celebration of Archbishop Linda’s ministry.

The date and time were set by the Archbishop’s “PA” (personal assistant) in Toronto and we were full steam ahead for the dates of April 23-24. With this news and the guidance of Bishop Anna, we planned a clergy supper at the Bayside Oceanfront Resort in Parksville — the same place the Archbishop would be staying for the night. There were lots of stories told, and much laughter and discussion about the ministry to which we are called. Archbishop Linda was a most gracious dinner companion.

The next day, Anglican friends from the north coast of the island arrived. Parishioners from Port Hardy reconnected with folks from Nanoose Bay, and from Tofino with Comox. It was a wonderful gathering and mid-week service of Eucharist. There were readers from St Mary’s, Nanoose Bay, and Communion servers from St Peter’s, Campbell River. While our two area deacons, Marion Edmondson and Lynn Cawthra, helped proclaim the gospel and serve at the altar. Barbara Paterson from St Edmund’s in Parksville led the intercessions, while Robert and Judy Fyles from Port Hardy read the psalm.

Alastair Hunting, incumbent at St John the Divine, Courtenay served as the Archbishop’s chaplain — a new role for Alastair. It was a sacred and wonderful gathering around the table with the Archbishop preaching.

Next we were off to the parish hall to enjoy a simple soup and sweets luncheon. We served bread from local baker Wild Culture Bakery and cheese from the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks. Each parish was asked to bring a tray of sweets, and were they ever good: I tried most of them.

The visit was all about the making possible of connections with Archbishop Linda, our primate. During the lunch, she took up the microphone and spoke clearly and passionately about the ministry that she shares with us as the Anglican Church of Canada. She spoke about the Middle East conflict and the work of Anglicans around the world, calling us to pray and continue to work for justice and peace for all God’s children and creation.

What a joy to have been able to open our doors to the primate, show her a welcome and celebrate her ministry.

  • Naomi Racz

    Naomi is the editor of Faith Tides and writes creative non-fiction with a focus on nature, the environment, sense of place and parenting.

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