Canadian priest named suffragan of Europe

A former mission co-ordinator with the Anglican Church of Canada’s Partnership department has been appointed suffragan or assistant bishop of the diocese of Europe.

Canon David Hamid, director of ecumenical affairs for the Anglican Consultative Council since 1996, worked for the Canadian church as its regional mission co-ordinator for Latin American and Caribbean from 1987 to 1996, when he began working for the Anglican Consultative Council in London. 

Together with Africa co-ordinator Canon John Rye (now retired) and Asia/Pacific co-ordinator Rev. Terry Brown (now bishop of Malaita, in the Church of Melanesia), Mr. Hamid formed a third of the group known, at the national office, as the Three Musketeers.

The Canadian Primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, commended the diocese of Europe’s choice of suffragan: “David brings great personal gifts of spirituality, quickness of mind and capacity for friendship (not to mention familiarity with air travel!). He has a remarkable talent for languages, and even more important, a capacity to translate across cultural as well as linguistic frontiers.”

The diocese of Europe consists of 270 parishes and chaplaincies in 44 countries in continental Europe, including Turkey, Switzerland, Finland, Greece, the Czech Republic and parts of the former Soviet Union. Though its offices and bishops’ residences are in London, the cathedral is in Gibraltar and there are pro-cathedrals in Brussels and Valletta, Malta.

The diocese works closely with the Old Catholic churches and the Lutheran churches in Europe, many of which are in full communion with the Church of England. It is also involved at a local level in the developing ecumenical relationships with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches in Europe.

It is thought to be the second time since 1934 that a canonically-resident Canadian priest has been ordained bishop in another province. The first was Mr. Hamid’s former colleague, Bishop Brown.

Mr. Hamid was ordained a priest in the diocese of Niagara in 1982 and served in two parishes in Burlington, Ont. He is a canon of the diocese of the Dominican Republic. He will be consecrated Oct. 17 in central London; Archbishop Peers plans to take part in the consecration, as a representive of the Canadian church.

The new suffragan bishop said of his appointment, “As I look back on my ministry to date, I can see how, in so many ways, it may have been a preparation for what it coming, through my involvement with the church’s ecumenical life, the international and multicultural dimensions of her mission and ministry, developing and nurturing her work in places where Anglicans are clearly in the minority among other Christians.”

Mr. Hamid was chosen by the diocesan bishop, Geoffrey Rowell, whom he will serve as assistant bishop. Bishop Rowell made the choice in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London. Mr. Hamid succeeds Bishop Henry Scriven, who moves on to a new position as assistant bishop in the diocese of Pittsburgh.

Mr. Hamid and his wife Colleen, a research scientist at St. Thomas Hospital in London, have two sons, Jonathan, 16, and Michael, 12.

Diocese of Europe

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