Resolution Number: A053
Subject: Amend Canon III to Extend Term of Office of Primate
Moved By: Chancellor Canon David P. Jones, K.C
Seconded By: The Ven. Alan T. Perry
Be it resolved that this General Synod:

Amend Canon III to add the italicized words in section 4 c) i):

4 c) The Primate shall hold office until:

  1. attaining 70 years of age, provided that if the next session of General Synod is scheduled to commence within one year of that date, the Primate may continue in office until the prorogation of that session of General Synod, or
  2. the effective date of a resignation accepted pursuant to section 9 b) of this Canon, or
  3. the adoption of a resolution declaring the Primacy vacant pursuant to section 10 d) of this Canon.

Source: Governance Working Group

Submitted By: Governance Working Group

Does this motion contain within it any financial implications? 

If yes, has the General Synod Expenditures Committee considered the implications? 

Yes     No


The purpose of this motion is to provide for the possibility of continuity in the office of Primate where the incumbent turns 70 within a year prior to the next session of General Synod.

Under the existing version of Canon III, the Senior Metropolitan would be the Acting Primate for the period in question (as well as Metropolitan and diocesan Bishop, which is onerous). In addition, the Senior Metropolitan would chair General Synod.

The Primate would have been involved in matters for at least the first two years of the triennium, and it makes sense to permit that person to continue on dealing with matters until the next General Synod.  (The Primate could, of course, decide not to continue serving and could instead resign.)

There is a similar provision in the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario with respect to extending the Metropolitan’s term of office (section 11 of Canon II).

The following chart indicates how the amendment would operate:




Section 11 c) ii) of the Declaration of Principles requires the enactment or amendment of a canon (which does not deal with doctrine, worship or discipline) to be approved at one session of General Synod by a two-thirds majority of each Order voting separately. 

Resolution download and history