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Five people who have graciously allowed their names to stand in an election of the next Bishop of Huron (from left): The Venerable Tim Dobbin, The Right Reverend William Cliff, The Venerable Tanya Phibbs, The Very Reverend Paul Millward, The Reverend Canon Todd Townshend

By Rev. Canon Keith Nethery

Close to 250 people journeyed to historic St. Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday, September 21 to think about the future of the Diocese of Huron. Five people who have graciously allowed their names to stand in an election of the next Bishop of Huron, were also in attendance to share their thoughts about how they might fit what the Spirit has in mind for the Diocese.

After some opening instructions and chasing away the morning cobwebs with a rousing hymn, each of the five were given five minutes for an opening address on why they believe they are called to the office of Bishop at this point in time. Those who have agreed to stand are Bishop William Cliff, Archdeacon Tim Dobbin, Dean Paul Millward, Archdeacon Tanya Phibbs and Canon Todd Townshend.

Close to 250 people gathered at St. Paul’s Cathedral to meet the candidates

The speaking order was selected in a random draw and some Anglican calisthenics allowed us all to stretch and sing a hymn verse between each of the speakers. Follow the opening addresses, each candidate was assigned an area of the Cathedral to conduct a meet and greet. Given that all five were kept busy for over an hour in a group setting, showed there was much interest in what was being said and the ongoing exchange of opinions.

Perhaps the most consistent themes of the day surrounded the recognition that this is a difficult time for the church, that our numbers are shrinking and our current programs aren’t bringing the results we want to see. Each of the five had some preliminary ideas on how we might address this in our Diocese.

The five nominee’s will again be in the Cathedral on Saturday, October 26 as the representatives of all parishes in Huron gather to seek God’s wisdom.

The opening addresses from Saturday where filmed by the committee organizing the election and are to be posted to the Diocese of Huron website.