January 26, 2022  

Re:  Appointment of Assisting Bishop  

Dear People of the Territory:   

At the November 2021 meeting of the Coordinating Council of the Territory, the Council directed me to find an interim Bishop for the Territory to provide pastoral care and stability for the Territory through the next few months, in preparation for readiness for the election of the next Bishop of the Territory of the People.  

I am delighted to announce I have appointed the Right Rev. Jane Alexander, newly retired bishop of the Diocese of Edmonton, to serve as this interim Bishop.  She will be the Assisting Bishop to the Territory, working with me as Metropolitan.   I am not going away, but will support you and Bishop Jane through this next stage.  I will still visit the Territory office once a month, and Bishop Jane and I will work together on personnel matters, supporting parishes in transition, and appointments,  

Bishop Jane comes with excellent experience as bishop in a diocese with both urban and rural parishes; she has been deeply involved in the work of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation and in supporting Indigenous ministries.  I know from my experience she is energetic, organized, and has what Bishop Jim Cruickshank called a “pastoral heart”.  She cares deeply for the diversity of the Church and its mission.   The attached letter is Bishop Jane’s self-introduction.  

Bishop Jane will begin as Assisting Bishop in the Territory on February 1st.   She will be half-time, with a week each month in person in the Territory, in a parish on the Sundays beginning and ending that week.   She will visit clergy and parishes, with attendance at meetings via zoom.  She will be part of the Provincial House of Bishops.  She will work with the Rev. Len Fraser to have a smooth transition as Len finishes his responsibility as Administrator of the Territory. There will be further information with details of Bishop Jane’s calendar as she gets started.    

As I said, the overall purpose or mandate of Bishop Jane’s ministry will be to provide stability for the Territory in this interim time.  She will support recovery from the several traumas of the past few months, and help the Territory build and assess readiness to call the next bishop.  In nine months, around November 2022, we will assess this readiness, and Bishop Jane will then remain in this ministry during the electoral process until the new bishop is in place, another nine months or so, till mid 2023.

I take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to The Rev Canon Len Fraser for his faithful ministry as Administrator of the Territory for the past several months.   Len will remain as interim priest at the Cathedral as they call a new dean, and will be a resource to Bishop Jane as she begins   I know you will help to get Bishop Jane on board, and you will pray for her in this ministry.   

One of the advantages of an interim ministry is new eyes to see.   As you tell Bishop Jane your stories about being the Territory, may you see anew what God is calling you to be.  May this be a time for healing and gathering strength.   May this be a time of God preparing the ground for the new green shoots, the new life God is bringing forth in you.  

Yours in Christ,  

The Most Rev. Lynne McNaughton