Bishop of N.S., P.E.I. to retire

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Archbishop Ron Cutler speaks with the Rev. James Purchase, honorary assistant at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Halifax, at the bishop’s New Year’s levee January 1, 2020. Photo: Paul Sherwood/Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

Archbishop Ron Cutler, diocesan bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Canada, will resign from both posts July 31, with the intention of entering retirement.

In an email news update from the diocese dated Jan. 8, Cutler said he had made the decision after a recent time of prayer on his future role in ministry. His decision was based, he said, both on personal reasons and on the fact that the diocese had recently begun the process of developing a new mission action plan.

“Since April 2014, I have tried to lead the diocese in ways that would open up new avenues and resources in which to enter into God’s mission for this time,” Cutler said. “It is time for someone else to lead in the new vision for the diocese.”

The timing of his departure, Cutler said, would allow the diocese’s new coadjutor bishop to attend the Lambeth Conference, the international gathering of Anglican bishops slated for this July.

“I had the good fortune to attend the last conference in 2008 and it was an extraordinarily formative gift as I began episcopal ministry and one that I wish to give the next bishop,” Cutler said, adding that he himself will not be attending.

The date for an electoral synod to choose his successor, the bishop said, will be set by the diocesan council when it meets Feb. 7-8.

“I am grateful for the people I have had the opportunity to work with over the years and especially during the last 5 1/2 years,” Cutler said. “There are real struggles in sustaining ministry in communities throughout Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island but there are also wonderfully gifted leaders, both clergy and lay, throughout the diocese.

“Together we have an opportunity to bear witness to the vision of God’s kingdom and invite all to share in its joy. It has been a privilege to be your bishop.”

Cutler was elected diocesan bishop in 2013 and consecrated the following year, succeeding Bishop Sue Moxley. He had served as the diocese’s suffragan bishop since 2008. Cutler was elected metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Canada—which covers the civil provinces of Atlantic Canada and much of Quebec—in 2017.

Cutler spent much of his early life in Montreal and completed a bachelor of theology degree at McGill University. Ordained in 1981, he served the parishes of Twillingate and Smith’s Sound in the diocese of Central Newfoundland before moving to Nova Scotia. He served a number of Nova Scotia parishes, including St. John the Evangelist in Lower Sackville, where he was rector from 1996 until his election as suffragan bishop in 2008.

Cutler was also one of five candidates in the primatial election of July 2019.

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Tali Folkins
Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.

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