A clergy member of Christ Church Cathedral will be recognized in 2019 as a Companion of the Centre for Christian Studies (CCS). The Rev. Canon Nancy Ford, deacon to the city for the Cathedral and director of deacons for the diocese, will receive her award at CCS’s annual service of celebration on March 24, 2019. Ford was ordained a deacon in 1998.
Based in Winnipeg, CCS is a national theological school that prepares people for ministries in the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada and offers lifelong learning to others. The Companion of the Centre award, established in 2001, is handed out to just one or two people each year.
In the announcement, CCS said Ford and her team compassionately engage with marginalized people in Greater Victoria. “Nancy brings natural gifts, professional training, and experience as a therapist to her ministry as a deacon. In her work at the Cathedral she applies those skills, along with a passion for gospel justice, to the evident social inequities and suffering in her local context. As one nominator said, Nancy Ford’s ministry of diakonia has been ‘grounded in a faithful and compassionate presence in the streets of Victoria, connecting the church to the outside world, reaching outward to her diocese and province, to deacons across Canada, and to the worldwide community of deacons.’”
Ford is a member of the inter-agency Downtown Service Providers; she has served on the Community Social Planning Council; and she is vice-chair of the Umbrella Society, which assists people affected by mental health issues and substance use. During the 2016 tent city encampment on the grounds of the provincial law courts (across the street from the Cathedral), Ford reached out to the campers. As director of deacons, she guides the discernment, formation, and mentoring of mentors, and assists congregations to understand role of the diaconate.
Other achievements include co-chairing the planning committee for the 2017 assembly of Anglican deacons and playing a big role in development and adoption of the Iona Report, a list of competencies for diaconal ministry in the Anglican Church. She is president of the Anglican Association of Deacons in Canada until 2020. Finally, she was active in the program review of CCS, as well as a key contact and resource person for CCS’s Learning on Purpose course at the Cathedral in 2018.