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The Rt. Rev. Anne Germond installed as 11th Bishop of Algoma

Ordained over the weekend as Algoma's 11th Anglican bishop, South Africa-born Anne Germond is the first woman to serve as bishop of the Diocese

One hundred and 43 years ago, when Frederick Dawson Fauquier arrived in Sault Ste. Marie, he found himself in charge of seven clergy at nine outpost congregations.

And no money to pay any of them.

Fauquier was the Anglican Diocese of Algoma's first bishop.

He was responsible for a vast region: 182,000 square kilometres stretching from Thunder Bay in the west to Englehart and Temiscaming, Quebec in the northeast, and south as far as Gravenhurst.

Bishop Fauquier received a stipend for his efforts, but no other salaries were paid by the provincial synod.

The missionary bishop was expected to raise the monies needed himself, soliciting wealthy congregations as far away as England.

"In summer his custom was to visit the islands in the great Georgian Bay and the stations along Lake Superior," records Charles Henry Mockridge's 1896 history, The Bishops of the Church of England in Canada and Newfoundland.

"He sailed from day to day in an open boat, accompanied by a missionary, sleeping under canvas at night, sometimes in clothes never quite dry," the book records.

"His visits to Muskoka were paid usually in the winter. Day by day he penetrated the great wilds, seeking for new places, sometimes tramping wearily through the snow and sleeping in settlers' huts amidst great discomfort and cold."

Anne Germond's arrival in the Sault one week ago was rather less austere.

See: First female bishop to be installed

Ordained Saturday as Algoma's 11th Anglican bishop and first woman elected to the office, the South Africa-born Germond spent last week learning her way around Bishophurst, the historic official residence at 134 Simpson Street built by Bishop Fauquier.

"As I walked through the door of Bishophurst and entered the 'bishop's study,' I felt the weight of following in the footsteps of all the very fine godly bishops who have lived here, prayed here, and worked here," she said in a message released over the weekend.

"I am using their prayer desk to say the morning and evening offices. I am honoured and humbled and I will use the unique gifts God has given me to do the work that is before me. Colin and I are looking forward to welcoming those of you who will be attending Synod to Bishophurst in May. It's a great space, a warm refuge already, and perfect for entertaining."

Germond comes to the Sault from Sudbury's Church of the Ascension, where she served for 16 years. Before that, Germond was at Church of the Epiphany. The Anglican Journal reports that in Sudbury she served in almost every position imaginable from Sunday school superintendent to parish council member to warden, deacon, priest and rector.

More recently, she's also served as archdeacon of the Deanery of Sudbury-Manitoulin, chaplain to the Greater Sudbury Police Services and chancellor of Thorneloe University, Sudbury.

The new bishop has come to the Sault with her husband Dr. Colin Germond, a retired oncologist, cancer survivor and passable violinist.

She succeeds The Rt. Rev. Dr. Stephen Andrews, who held the position for eight years before becoming principal of Toronto's Wycliffe College last August.

The bishop's job is considerably more demanding than in Bishop Fauquier's day: the Diocese of Algoma now has 93 congregations with more than 13,000 members, served by 41 priests.

Germond is now styled The Rt. Rev. Anne Germond, 11th Bishop of Algoma, properly addressed as 'Bishop Anne' or 'Bishop Germond.'

But at Saturday's ordination service, she was repeatedly referred to as simply 'Anne.'

To get to the historic service, bishops from across the province and elsewhere in Canada, wearing ornate chasubles, were forced to awkwardly clamber over windrows of snow inconsiderately plowed across sidewalks.

Guests included Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano; The Most Reverend Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; and The Right Reverend Mark McDonald, National Indigenous Bishop of the Anglican Church.

The Most Reverend Colin Johnson, Archbishop of Toronto and Moosonee and Metropolitan of Ontario, presided over the liturgy.

Preaching was by the new bishop's brother-in-law, The Rt. Rev. Brian Germond, retired Bishop of the Diocese of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Bishop Germond's San Damiano mitre was a gift from Sudbury's Church of the Ascension.

Her San Damiano chasuble was provided by the Church of the Epiphany, also in Sudbury.

The Right Reverend Rod Andrews presented the new bishop with a travelling crozier that originally belonged to Bishop Les Peterson.

She was also presented with a pectoral cross that belonged to Johannesburg Bishop Brian Germond.

Darrell Boissoneau, president of Shingwauk Education Trust, presented a gift. The diocese is one of four partners of the education trust, which administers the land and assets of the former Shingwauk Residential School.

Gifts were also presented by the Metis Nation of Ontario, recognizing its developing relationship with the diocese.

"Give her humility, that she may use her authority to heal, not to hurt; to build up, not to destroy," said Archbishop Colin Johnson in his prayer of consecration over the kneeling bishop-elect.


David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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