Lynne McNaughton elected bishop of Kootenay

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The Rev. Lynne McNaughton, left, and Archbishop Melissa Skelton, bishop of the diocese of New Westminster and metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and Yukon, shortly after the election results were announced January 19. Photo: Jeff Donnelly

The Rev. Lynne McNaughton, rector of St. Clement’s Anglican Church, North Vancouver, and deputy prolocutor of General Synod, has been elected the 10th bishop of the diocese of Kootenay. She was elected on the second ballot during an electoral synod held Saturday, January 19 at the Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels, Kelowna, B.C.

McNaughton told the Journal she felt—citing, with a laugh, the Godly Play children’s ministry text for the Annunciation—like Mary, “scared, but happy…stunned, but blessed.”

She added, “I have a steep learning curve—and I’m excited about that!”

Her first priority, she said, will be to visit the parishes of the diocese, meeting clergy and parishioners.

One of the things she likes about the diocese, McNaughton said, is the support it provides for ministry through the Kootenay School of Ministry, which focuses on the local training of priests and deacons, and the diocese’s Education for Ministry program, which makes theological education available to lay people. She added that as co-chair of the Anglican Church of Canada–United Church of Canada Dialogue, she was also interested in the shared Anglican-United Church parishes in the diocese.

“I think Kootenay has always had a courage for looking at new models of ministry in rural settings,” she said. “The church needs to adapt and change to new circumstances, so I’ll be wanting to support that for parishes.”

Born and raised in Peace River, Alta., McNaughton studied sociology and English at the University of Alberta before completing an MDiv at the Vancouver School of Theology (VST) in 1986. She received a doctor of ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., in 2007.

McNaughton was ordained a priest in the diocese of New Westminster in 1987, and has served her entire ordained life in the diocese. She was chaplain and director of Anglican formation at VST from 1995–2008; she was also an assistant professor of spirituality at VST from 2003–2008. McNaughton served as archdeacon of Capilano in the diocese of New Westminster from 2011–2016, and has been rector of St. Clement’s since 2008.

Her service has included work for the national church also. McNaughton has been a member of every General Synod, for example, since 2010, and has also served on Council of General Synod (CoGS) since that time. Since 2016, she has been deputy prolocutor of CoGS. She has sat on many committees of the national church, including the Anglican Church of Canada–United Church of Canada Dialogue, of which she was the Anglican co-chair from 2016–2019.

The election was held to choose a successor to Archbishop John Privett, who retired May 31, 2018 after serving as bishop for the diocese since 2005. Privett, who also served as metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and Yukon beginning in 2009, resigned from that position April 30, 2018, and was succeeded the following month by Archbishop Melissa Skelton.

There were three other nominees: David Anderson, archdeacon of Hamilton-Haldimand in the diocese of Niagara; Canon David Harrison, rector of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Toronto; and Christopher Pappas, archdeacon for congregational development for the diocese of Edmonton.

The diocese of Kootenay is situated in the southeast of the civil province of British Columbia.

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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.

1 COMMENT

  1. My sincere congratulations to Lynne, and to the Diocese of Kootenay, which is surely blessed! Lynne was the curate at Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, when I arrived at VST in the fall of 1987. In serving as a sacristan at CCC while a student, I soon became aware of Lynne’s many gifts. I remember a laywoman one Sunday morning saying from her pew seat, “That young lady will be a bishop someday.” We can now all rejoice in the fulfillment of that comment and support Lynne in her new ministry.

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