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Diocese of The Arctic

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Diocese of The Arctic
Diocese of the Arctic YK.jpg
Church emblem in Yellowknife
Ecclesiastical provinceRupert's Land
Coordinates63°44′51″N 068°31′00″W / 63.74750°N 68.51667°W / 63.74750; -68.51667 (St. Jude's Cathedral, Iqaluit)
CathedralSt. Jude's Cathedral, Iqaluit
Current leadership
BishopDavid W. Parsons
SuffragansJoey Royal, Annie Ittoshat, Lucy Netser.

The Diocese of The Arctic is a diocese of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land of the Anglican Church of Canada. It is by far the largest of the thirty dioceses in Canada, comprising almost 4,000,000 km2 (1,500,000 sq mi), or one-third the land mass of the country.[1] As the name indicates, the diocese encompasses the Arctic region of Canada including the entirety of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Nunavik region of northern Quebec.[1][2] The see city is Iqaluit, Nunavut, and its approximately 18,000 Anglicans (over one-third of the total population) are served by thirty-one parishes.[3] The administrative offices of the diocese are located in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.[4]

The diocese is well known for its igloo-shaped cathedral, St. Jude's, which was destroyed by fire in 2005 but subsequently rebuilt and opened in 2012.[5] It maintains a theological school, the Arthur Turner Training School in Iqaluit.[6] In 1996, Paul Idlout became the first Inuk bishop in the world (as suffragan bishop).


Originally, the region was part of the vast and sprawling Diocese of Rupert's Land, which at the time encompassed all of present-day Canada west of Ontario. Anglican activity in the Far North primarily took the form of missionary work among the Aboriginal First Nations and Inuit, undertaken for the most part by the evangelical Church Mission Society. In 1874, the Diocese of Rupert's Land was split into four dioceses one of which, Athabasca, included the present-day Diocese of The Arctic. In 1892, Atherbasca was subdivided to create the Diocese of Selkirk (coterminous with the Yukon) and the Diocese of Mackenzie River (coterminous with the Northwest Territories).

The Diocese of The Arctic was created from Athabasca in 1933, subsuming the Diocese of Mackenzie River and carving northern Quebec from the Diocese of Quebec, where—like Nunavut and the Northwest Territories—the majority of the population is indigenous. The first constituted synod was not convened, however, until 1972.[1]

In 2002, Andrew Atagotaaluk became the first Inuk diocesan bishop in the world and the fifth bishop of The Arctic. Atagotaaluk retired at the end of 2012.

In June 2012, an electoral synod was held. David W. Parsons was elected to succeed as diocesan bishop and Darren McCartney as suffragan.

At the Diocesan Synod held in Yellowknife on 28 March 2019, Joey Royal, Annie Ittoshat and Lucy Netser were elected as suffragan bishops. They were consecrated on 31 March 2019 in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.[7]


Both the missionary history of the diocese and its particular cultural context contributes to its theology, which tends towards evangelicalism and conservatism.

Bishops David Parsons and Darren McCartney were the only Anglican Church of Canada bishops to attend GAFCON II, held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 21 to 26 October 2013.[8]

On 18 July 2019, the Diocese of the Arctic declared itself in "impaired communion" with dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada whose bishops have permitted same-sex marriages.[9]

List of bishops of The Arctic

Bishops of The Arctic
From Until Incumbent Notes
1933 1949 Archibald Fleming
1950 1973 Donald Marsh Died in office.
1974 1990 John Sperry
1991 2002 Chris Williams Elected Suffragan bishop in 1987; Elected coadjutor bishop in 1990.
2002 2012 Andrew Atagotaaluk First Inuk diocesan bishop. Retired on 31 December 2012.[10]
2012 present David W. Parsons Consecrated coadjutor bishop at New St Jude's Cathedral, Iqaluit on 3 June 2012;[11] Succeeded as Diocesan Bishop on 1 January 2013.

List of suffragan bishops

Suffragan bishops in The Arctic Diocese
From Until Incumbent Notes
1962 1974 H. G. Cook.
1980 1987 Jamie C. M. Clarke Translated to Military Ordinariate of the Canadian Forces.
1987 1991 Chris Williams Coadjutor bishop from 1990; diocesan bishop, 1991–2002
1996 2004 Paul Idlout First Inuk to become a bishop.
1999 2002 Andrew A. P. Atagotaaluk Coadjutor bishop from 2002; diocesan bishop, 2002-2012.
1999 2010 Larry Robertson Translated to Yukon.
2002 2010 Ben Arreak Was the team coordinator of the Inuktitut translation of the Bible, completed in 2012.
2012 2019 Darren McCartney Consecrated 3 June 2012 at New St Jude's.[12]
2019 present Joey Royal Director of the Arthur Turner Training School.
2019 present Annie Ittoshat Previously ministered in the Diocese of Montreal.
2019 present Lucy Netser


  1. ^ a b c "History". Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
  2. ^ Map of the diocese
  3. ^ Parishees
  4. ^ Offices
  5. ^ St.Jude's Anglican Cathedral
  6. ^ Arthur Turner Training School
  7. ^ Diocese of the Arctic Official Website
  8. ^ "ANiC Newsletter: 11 November 2013". Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  9. ^ Diocese of the Arctic withdraws from the Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Ink, 19 July 2019
  10. ^ CBC News – Anglican Arctic diocese to elect new bishop Wednesday]
  11. ^ "Parsons elected bishop". Threshold Ministries. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  12. ^ Diocese of Down & Dromore – Knocknamuckley rector is elected Suffragan Bishop in Arctic Diocese

External links

This page was last edited on 2 January 2021, at 02:13
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