Kerr-Wilson moving to Calgary
By Frank Flegel
REGINA — Anglican Bishop of Qu’Appelle Gregory Kerr-Wilson has been elected Bishop of Calgary and will take up his new post September
“I prayed and talked to several people, including Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan, whether I should let my name stand in nomination,” said Kerr-Wilson in an interview. “His insight was very helpful to me. He said if the church asks you to consider something you have to take it seriously as possibly from the Holy Spirit and possibly from the Lord.”
Kerr-Wilson and Bohan have become close friends since he became Bishop of Qu’Appelle in 2006. The two signed a covenant between the two faith communities and have held joint prayers and celebrations as called for in the covenant.
“What I decided actually was that I was called to be part of the process and that’s a key part for me,” he said in an interview. Seven ballots later the synod elected him Bishop of Calgary.
“It’s always a mixed thing,” he said about his reaction when his election was confirmed. “You have this sense of being called and I am convinced that this is a call from God to this. There is this excitement of looking forward to a new challenge, but at the same time there is also this sense of sadness because of relationships here in Qu’Appelle, in southern Saskatchewan and with the archdiocese. It has been such a delightful, warm and hospitable place to be.”
The Qu’Appelle diocese covers most of southern Saskatchewan and has an Anglican population of about 4,400. The Calgary diocese covers most of southern Alberta, a slightly smaller geographic area, but has an Anglican population of about 10,000. The bishop says it has similar challenges in a declining rural population and declining church attendance. He said there are several initiatives under way in the Qu’Appelle diocese that will not be completed by the time he leaves and he hopes similar initiatives may be instituted in Calgary.
Kerr-Wilson and his wife have three children, a son living in Edmonton and two daughters with them in Regina. Their reaction to the change was another move. “We’ve moved several times and that’s not easy moving away from your friends, it’s always people and relationships, but at the same time there is a sense of transition and new challenges.”
Kerr-Wilson had been Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Edmonton diocese, and was ordained Bishop in Regina. They’ve lived in large cities before but he said he will miss Regina and being able to get anywhere in 15 or 20 minutes. Calgary will have much longer commutes.