The Dean's Page
The Very Reverend M. Ansley Tucker was appointed Rector of Christ Church Cathedral and Dean of Columbia in July 2015.
Our new dean comes to Victoria having spent the past 10 years in the Diocese of Calgary, where she served latterly as an Archdeacon and the Rector of Christ Church. She is not entirely a newcomer to Victoria, having been born here, and lived here again during her primary school years. She has powerful recollections of cherry blossoms, fog, a seagull on every lamp post, and (having arrived from Montreal), being the only kid on the block with a toboggan.
Dean Tucker turned to the study of Divinity after completing a degree in Nursing at the University of Ottawa. She attended Trinity College in Toronto in the mid to late 70s, at a time when the Anglican Church was undergoing a seismic shift in almost all aspects of its life. Along with much of the Anglican Communion, we were in the period of the trial liturgies (which led in Canada to a Book of Alternative Services); altars were being pulled off the east wall of most churches, so that priest and people could face each other, as if gathered around the Table. Our baptismal discipline was being strengthened, with baptism returning to its rightful place in the Sunday liturgy, and children being admitted to Communion on the basis of their baptism. Perhaps the hottest debate of the day, however, concerned the ordination of women. And the issue just creeping onto the horizon was whether or not the Church could ordain gay men (even celibate gays). These were heady and exhilarating times to be studying theology. In fact, it was so much fun, that Dean Tucker stayed on to complete a Master’s degree in Systematic Theology, whilst coordinating children’s and youth ministry for 10 parishes, and serving as the Tutor in Theology for first year Master of Divinity students!
Throughout her 35 years’ ordained ministry, our new Dean has held leadership roles at the diocesan and national levels. She has served on numerous committees whose brief was “Doctrine & Worship,” and she chaired D&W in the Diocese of Toronto during the time the Book of Alternative Services was being introduced. Dean Tucker is currently a member of our national Faith, Worship & Ministry Coordinating Committee, and has been cross-appointed as the Anglican representative to the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Faith, Order and Doctrine Committee. She also spent 10 years in the Diocese of Toronto assessing candidates for ordination, three of them as the Chief Examining Chaplain.
Dean Tucker brings experience and skill which we hope will be useful to Christ Church Cathedral. For example, three of the parishes she served have experienced significant growth not only in such quantifiable indicators as attendance and revenue, but also in such immeasurables as a developing heart for service to the world, a commitment to spiritual practice, an openness to experimentation, and a longing for an expression of faith that is intellectually honest. She believes that the immeasurables are what drive the measurables. If we are clear about a compelling vision for what it means to be Christian – and a Cathedral community of Christians—the rest will follow.
The Induction and Installation Service of our new Rector and Dean took place on Sunday, October 18. To view the photos of the occasion, please click here