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Bishop-elect Peter Fenty appointed to York-Simcoe

Bishop-elect Peter Fenty

By Stuart Mann

Bishop-elect Peter Fenty has been appointed the area bishop of York-Simcoe, effective June 22. Archbishop Colin Johnson made the announcement at a Diocesan Council meeting on April 18.

“I’m delighted,” said Bishop-elect Fenty of his appointment. “I’m looking forward to going to York-Simcoe and working with the clergy and laity in God’s mission in that part of our diocese.”

York-Simcoe is one of four episcopal areas that comprise the Diocese of Toronto. It is located in the north-central part of the diocese (see map). It has 47 parishes that contain 67 congregations. There are 55 active clergy.

Bishop-elect Fenty will succeed Bishop George Elliott, who is retiring at the end of April. Bishop-elect Fenty will work out of the area bishop’s office in King City, with Jennipher Kean as his administrative assistant. He will continue to live in Brampton, where his wife and daughter are teachers in the Peel School Board.

Bishop-elect Fenty, who is currently the archdeacon of York and the executive officer to the Bishop of Toronto, said that the first order of business will be to meet the clergy and people of York-Simcoe.

“In my initial months, I’m going to be making time to get to know the clergy and people of the area,” he said. “I want to hear where they see themselves at this point in time—what is their sense of mission and ministry? I want to discover their passions and enthusiasm. I also want to learn about their struggles and how we, together, might discern how that mission can still be exercised, even in a different ways.”  

He said he has received a lot of support and encouragement since his election by Synod on April 6. “I’m delighted that I’ve received so much support, both from folks within the church—clergy and laity alike—as well as many other people here in Canada, the West Indies and the U.S. who have become aware of my election. I’ve received tons of emails and calls and good wishes—people praying for me and supporting me in this new ministry that is about to begin.”

Bishop-elect Fenty will be consecrated on June 22 at St. James Cathedral in Toronto. Between Bishop Elliott’s retirement and the consecration, Archbishop Johnson will have episcopal oversight of York-Simcoe.

Archbishop Johnson said Bishop-elect Fenty will bring a wide variety of gifts and a depth of experience to the job. “Peter is a wonderful, passionate preacher,” he said. “He’s been trained in a tradition of taking the scripture and making it relevant to people’s lives, and of building enthusiasm and encouraging people to engage with their faith. Peter is an extremely good facilitator. He’s able to go into a whole variety of situations, listen carefully to what’s going on, and help both analyze it and build a group of people who are able to address issues. He’s able to build bridges between different groups of people. He’s a very pastoral person. He listens well and prays with people and helps them in times of trouble and helps them celebrate their joys.”

 For story on the episcopal election on April 6, see related article.