Moderator of the United Church of Canada

The Moderator of the United Church of Canada is the presiding leader of the United Church of Canada, Canada's largest Protestant denomination.


The Moderator's authority exists by his or her ability to influence the direction of the denomination, rather than any sort of direct power to unilaterally enact changes. Duties of the Moderator include:


Moderators are elected at each General Council; their term of office is therefore defined by the length of time between General Councils. When the United Church of Canada was founded in 1925, General Councils were biannual, giving each moderator a two-year term of office. At the 1994 General Council, the commissioners voted to make General Councils triannual, thus increasing the moderator's term to three years.[2]

Although most moderators have been ordained ministers, this is not a requirement of office—to date, four have been lay persons. If the moderator is ordained, he or she is styled the "Right Reverend" while in office, and the "Very Reverend" after their retirement.


In 2012, Gary Paterson was elected moderator. Paterson was the first homosexual leader of a major Christian denomination.[3] In 2015, the United Church of Canada elected its second gay moderator, Jordan Cantwell.[3]

List of United Church Moderators


  1. 1 2 3 4 "The Manual" (pdf). United Church of Canada. 2013. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  2. "Overview: Historical Timeline". The United Church of Canada. 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
  3. 1 2 Todd, Douglas. "United Church of Canada elects second gay moderator". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
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