The Christ Church Cathedral has inducted its first female dean and rector, just in time to mark the cathedral’s 150th anniversary.
Two weeks ago, Rev. M. Ansley Tucker was formally installed and inducted as the Dean of Columbia and Rector of the Cathedral, which is the cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia.
“I’m honoured to be invited into this position of trust and leadership,” said Tucker, who has been an Anglican priest for 35 years.
Tucker was originally born in Victoria, where she attended primary school. She completed her first degree in nursing, but quickly learned she was not cut out for the job.
“Sometimes your heart is somewhere else,” laughed Tucker.
From there, she earned her masters degree in divinity and theology from Trinity College at the University of Toronto.
Tucker spent 12 years as Rector of Church of the Redeemer in Toronto.
Following other parish and academic positions in Toronto, she moved to Calgary in 2005 to serve at Calgary’s Christ Church, where she lived for the past 10 years.
Now Tucker, who started in July with the Christ Church Cathedral, hopes the church will become a voice for people who are not heard or are dismissed in Victoria.
“When you walk out the doors of the cathedral, you can see very clearly the needs the church needs to be addressing,” she said.
“We’re very concerned about our interaction with the wider community with issues related to homelessness and particularly child poverty.”
Along with welcoming a new dean, the cathedral is celebrating its 150th anniversary, since it was designated Christ Church as the Cathedral of the Diocese of British Columbia by Bishop George Hills on Dec. 7, 1865.
The year-long celebrations included an exhibit and auction of work by the late Ted Harrison, which drew thousands of people to the church in April, and a sold-out concert by world-renowned classical pianist Angela Hewitt in May. The events culminated in Tucker’s induction.
The cathedral also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Hellmuth Wolff organ.
“This event marks a long period of transition at the cathedral,” said Ian Alexander, rector’s warden. “We’re certainly very excited and very pleased that it’s Ansley who answered the call.”
Tucker takes over for Rev. Logan McMenamie, who is now the bishop of British Columbia in the Anglican Church of Canada.