serving together

Canada: Association of Anglican Deacons in Canada

History of the Anglican Association of Deacons, Canada (AADC)

  • 1999 – at a combined (NAAD) North American Association for the Diaconate and Living Stones Conference held in Deerfield Minnesota all 15 of the Canadian Anglican deacons present, gathered to discuss mutual concerns.
  • We talked about a number of ongoing issues for Deacons in Canada and found a pressing need to continue meeting as Canadian Anglican Deacons.
  • Recruited from that meeting were, Deacons Marlene Carscallen, John Struthers, Christine Ross, Maylanne Maybee, Jacquie Bouthion, Madonna Fradsham, and Michael Jackson. This group was given the task of pulling together a National Canadian Diaconal Conference
  • June 2000, the first Canadian national diaconal conference was held in Winnipeg at St. John’s College. The conference theme was “Deo Gratias”; a name which came out of a profound sense of thanksgiving that there were now enough deacons in Canada to be able to have a meeting! Of the nearly 100 deacons in Canada there were about 30 present, with other guests and staff the total was 42. The format for the conference was an open space conversation in addition to other workshops.
  • The open space conversations led to an emerging consensus to form a national Association for Canadian Deacons, that would give a voice to Deacons from across Canada. The Conference authorized the steering committee from the conference, along with a few others, to initiate conversations and to build a national organization.
  • 2001 – 2002, the planning group met by conference call, developed a constitution and began to identify a purpose and priorities for the Association.
  • A letter went to deacons in every Diocese, inviting them to nominate candidates for the Board of Directors.
  • June 2002, the steering committee met within a meeting of DOTAC (DIAKONIA of the Americas and Caribbean) in Winnipeg. There they put the final touches on the Constitution, named the members of the Board, set fees for membership, wrote job descriptions and looked at priorities for the new organization.
  • Priorities included beginning the dialogue about educational standards for Diaconal training in Canada, advocacy for the restoration of the Diaconate in Canada, and beginning the dialogue about national standards for formation and training
  • June 2003, the new Board of Directors met within a meeting of (NAAD) North American Association for the Diaconate in Toronto.
  • The Constitution was duly and legally ratified, giving a full and national voice for Canadian Deacons.
  • The Board was expanded to include aboriginal voices and representatives from Theological Colleges.
  • Next step was to begin to plan the first National Conference of Canadian Anglican deacons under the auspices of our new organization.
  • June 2004, the conference was held in Charlottetown Prince Edward Island
  • Plans were laid at the 2004 conference to hold another National Conference, in 2006, in Winnipeg. Due to unforeseen circumstances the 2006 conference never happened. Instead the Board met in Winnipeg in August of that year to decide the future of our fledgling organization.
  • A new Board was appointed, revisions to the Constitution were proposed and adopted pending an Annual General Meeting to ratify them.
  • A new committee was appointed to pull together a Conference in Vancouver in 2008.
  • A website was proposed and new life was given to our organization with a proposal to have a blended membership for both NAAD and AADC.
  • The Conference planning committee worked for two years on the 2008 conference and other committees worked on other items on our priority list. At the Conference, a new constitution was presented and ratified, and a new executive elected. The new Board came away with a renewed energy to begin looking at national compentencies for Education, formation and training for Deacons, a commission to write a conference planning book, and to begin conversations about advocacy for and about Deacons at a National level.
  • November 2009, the Board met in Winnipeg, held a very successful visioning forum for the Association and to receive a discussion paper regarding Diaconal competencies, which was presented to the Primate.
  • In August of 2011, another very successful National Conference was held in London, Ontario. A new Board of Directors was elected and the discussion paper about the Diaconal competencies was presented to the membership.
  • More history here (British Columbia Deacons)

Visioning Statement of the Anglican Association of Deacons

The Board of the Association of Anglican Deacons in Canada (AADC) met on November 14, 2009 in Winnipeg, Manitoba for a visioning forum. The board went through a process answering four questions using a quasi World Café model.
The four questions were:
Question # 1 What on earth is God doing for heaven’s sake through the Diaconate in Canada?
What is our deeper purpose?
What is it about this work that is worthy of our best efforts?

Question # 2 What does it mean to be a Deacon in Canada?
What is important for Deacons in Canada?
What is in this Association for me as a Canadian Deacon?

Question # 3 What could/should our relationship be with our American cousins?
How can we make a difference for both Canadian and American Deacons?
What could happen that would enable you/us to feel fully engaged and energized in this work?

Question # 4 What do you/we believe the Church will look like in 25 years?
What will the Deacon in Canada look like in 25 years?
What foundations do we need to build for that future?

Our conclusions and some notes about our ongoing work are listed at this link Vision. The Board of AADC continues to work on the goals we set at our visioning day. One of those goals is to follow-up on the challenges Richard Leggett set for us the 2008 Vancouver Conference. Richard’s Keynote speech can be seen by clicking on the following link, Richard Leggett’s Keynote speech to the 2008 Vancouver Conference. Another one of those goals was to begin planning for another national conference (held August 11 – 14, 2011)

Training, formation, education and competencies

“Who does a prospective Deacon need to be, and what does a prospective Deacon need to know in order to be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons in the Anglican Church of Canada?”

The Board of the Association of Anglican Deacons in Canada (AADC) has been working since 2009 on a proposed set of National Competencies for the Education and Formation of Deacons in Canada. The  purpose is offer a set of competencies that each Diocese in Canada would use as benchmarks in the formation of Deacons in their individual programmes.

A copy of the work, to date, can be found at this link, Draft Competencies.   At the 2011 Conference the Board of AADC invited Deacons from across Canada to read the competencies and offer input regarding them.


The most recent Deacons conference was held in 2014, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Keynote speaker was the Most Rev Fred Hiltz. Here’s a newspaper article about the conference.

A link to the AADC website here.

Article here.

Maylanne Maybee Award

Beginning in 2008, the Association of Anglican Deacons in Canada/Association anglicane de diacres au Canada (AADC) initiated a program to formally recognize the ministry and work of Deacons and the individual Deacons who carry our Christ’s work in our midst. The Maylanne Maybee Award is given to one Deacon at the triennial conference of the Association.

The criteria for this recognition are the fundamental statements of the Bishop contained in the examination at the ordination of a Deacon:

…every Christian is called to follow Jesus Christ, serving God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit. God now calls you to a special ministry of servanthood, directly under the authority of your bishop. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely.

As a deacon in the Church, you are to study the holy scriptures, to seek nourishment from them, and to model your life upon them. You are to make Christ and his redemptive love known, by your word and example, to those among whom you live and work and worship. You are to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. You are to assist the bishop and priests in public worship, and in the administration of God’s word and sacraments, and you are to carry out other duties assigned to you from time to time. At all rimes, your life and teaching are to show Christ’ people that in serving the helpless, they are serving Christ himself.” (BAS P. 655)

Deacons recommended for the Maylanne Maybee award exemplify this charge in their lives and active ministry. AADC is honoured to have this opportunity to share in this recognition of the recipients. They represent the ministry of Deacons at its best. Through their work, Christ’s people are well served.

BC Deacons

Chapter of Deacons, British Columbia, AADC

Chapter of Deacons, British Columbia

The Chapter of Deacons was  formed in 2006 in response to recommendations of the Diocesan Commission on the  Diaconate. The Chapter’s membership is comprised of all the “distinctive” Deacons of the Diocese.
“Distinctive” Deacons in the Anglican Church follow their vocation to be Deacons. They are not called to become priests. This language may seem confusing when a “transitional” Deacon is ordained to the priesthood not long after they have been ordained to the diaconate. The vocations for those called to the priesthood and those called to the diaconate are complimentary but each is unique in their history and ministry.
The Chapter meets three times a year with the Bishop, for support, education, planning, and discussion of diaconal mission.

Receipients of the Maylanne Maybee Award

Marlene Carscallen
In 2008 at our national Conference held in Vancouver, B.C., AADC honoured the Reverend Deacon Marlene Carscallen with the first Maylanne Maybee Award. Marlene is a Deacon in the Diocese of Toronto whose ministry is that of a chaplain at Mount Sinai Hospital. She was Director of Deacons for the Diocese for 4 years, sheparding many aspirants through the process to ordination. Marlene was also a founding member of the Association of Anglican Deacons in Canada/Association anglicane de diacres au Canada (AADC) and served on its Board for 7 years before retiring as secretary.


Chris Ross
The National Conference held in London, Ont., in August of 2011, AADC honoured the Reverend Deacon Christine Ross with the Maylanne Maybee Award. Chris is a Deacon in the Diocese of Kootenay who works with a number of outreach projects to the homeless and those in transition from the streets to sheltered housing. She is Director of Deacons for the Diocese of Kootenay, and the clarity of her ministry has educated many in the signifcance of the Diaconate. She was a founding member of the Association of Anglican Deacons in Canada/Association anglicane de diacres au Canada (AADC) and has just retired from the Board. Chris was also a receipient of the the AED (formerly NAAD) Stephen Award, in 1999.

At the 2014 AADC Conference, The Rev. (Deacon) Alice (Dolly) Beaumont, of the Diocese of British Columbia, was awarded with the Maylanne Maybee Award. The award, which is given to one deacon at the triennial conference of the association, recognizes deacons who “carry our Christ’s work in our midst” and who represent the  ministry of deacons “at its best.” In 1992, Rev Dolly Beaumont was one of the first Anglican Deacons ordained in Canada, stationed at St Mary of the Incarnation, Metchosin. In May 2014,  Rev Dolly was appointed as Deacon at Holy Trinity, Sooke. On June 2nd, she was made a Canon in the Diocese of British Columbia

Rev Dolly Beaumont

Rev Dolly Beaumont

Logo for Association of Anglican Deacons in Canada

Logo for Association of Anglican Deacons in Canada



Information to be collected includes (but is not limited to) the following questions.


A brief history (may include links to documents and websites) – how did it all get started? What are the key dates and events? Are there documents that are part of the history (please specify)?

Denomination/agency/institution of which diaconal ministry agents are a part


Diaconal ministry agents: consecretrated/commissioned/ordained/other?

Title: Sister, Deaconess, Deacon, Rev, etc


Historical information and dates re formation/recognition of diaconal ministry agents in the denomination/church agency.


Does the diaconal ministry agent wear a distinctive uniform? Are diaconal ministry agents able to be married? Are they remunerated? Do they live in community (eg motherhouse) or independently? Etc.


What kind of training/formation do diaconal ministry agents receive before formal recognition in their church. Are there expectations of ongoing training, or professional development? If yes, what is expected and how often does it happen?


How many diaconal ministry agents are there currently in the denomination or church agency? Any comment on trends in numbers?


Are there key people (historical or current) in the organization who have provided significant leadership. Any weblinks to their story, or a short write up?


Who are the current leaders in the diaconal association? (photos, ‘blurb’).


Relationship of diaconal ministry agents to a denomination/church agency


An overview of main responsibilities for diaconal ministry agents (past and present). Are they located within a church, a particular facility or agency, or community based? Are diaconal ministry agents appointed to individual placements or work together on projects or in institutions?


Are diaconal ministry agents able to preside at sacraments (communion, baptism, weddings etc)?


Who makes the appointments for diaconal ministry agents eg they apply for positions, they are appointed (eg by a Bishop, by the conference office, or another body/committee).


Is there a length of time for appointments (eg usually less than 5 years, usually between 5 and 10 years, at the discretion of the diaconal ministry agent or at the discretion of the appointing body), appointed to and remain with a particular mother house, etc.


Do diaconal ministry agents organize conferences, seminars, gatherings for professional development, pastoral peer support etc? How often and what is the nature of these events?


Key issues and challenges in the contemporary ministry context


Do the diaconal ministry agents have ‘code of conduct’ or ‘code of ethics’ that inform ethical and behavioral expectations for ministry?


Key documents (historical, vision and mission etc) – links or PDF or Word files




Links to relevant articles, websites etc


Other areas of interest……


(information to Rev Sandy Boyce, President, DIAKONIA World Federation,, to upload to this website)