The Companion of the Centre is awarded annually to acknowledge someone who has made a significant contribution to the work of CCS or whose life and work epitomizes the ideals of CCS. We are pleased to announce that the 2019 Companion of the Centre recipient will be Rev. Canon Nancy Ford.
Nancy was born and raised in Ontario. In 1998 she was ordained a Deacon in the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia. She currently serves as the “Deacon to the City” out of Christ Church Cathedral, where she and her social justice teams seek to engage creatively and compassionately with marginalized people in greater Victoria. She is a trusted member of Victoria’s Downtown Service Providers, has served on the Community Social Planning Council, and is Vice-Chair of the Umbrella Society, which assists people affected by mental health issues and substance use. During the 2016 “Super InTent City” encampment on the grounds of the Victoria Law Courts, Nancy befriended the campers and went to bat for them in court. 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.
In 2005 she was appointed Director of Deacons by the Bishop. In this capacity she has a key role in the discernment, formation, and mentoring of mentors, as well as assisting congregations in understanding the unique role of the diaconate. She co-chaired the planning committee for the triennial assembly of Anglican deacons in 2017, and was elected President of the Anglican Association of Deacons in Canada until 2020. She was instrumental in the development and adoption of the “Iona Report,” a list of competencies for diaconal ministry in the Anglican Church.
Nancy was also an active participant in the Program Review of the Centre for Christian Studies, and a key contact and resource person for CCS’s Learning on Purpose course held at Christ Church Cathedral in 2018.
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 in World Diakonia.”
Or as another says, “She is a modern-day Stephen, Lydia and Phoebe: passionate, compassionate, caring, and articulate. She is a teacher, writer, and educator, walking with those on the margins. She is faithful and committed to following in the way of Jesus.”
Nancy will be presented with the Companion of the Centre award at CCS’s Annual Service of Celebration on March 24, 2019.