First Woman Ordained Bishop for Diocese of Niagara

Bishop Susan Bell to serve as coadjutor bishop after historic service of consecration

HAMILTON, ONTARIO – The Right Reverend Susan Bell has become the first woman ordained to serve as coadjutor bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara after a historic and sacred service at Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton on Saturday, May 5.

“My heart overflows with gratitude for the support and kindness of so many people along my faith journey and in all my ministries,” said Bishop Bell in a message to the diocese. The new bishop’s episcopal motto focuses on mission in the world and she invited the diocese to listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit. “May we renew God’s mission of love in all the communities we serve.”

An estimated 600 people attended the standing room only service which was also live streamed on Facebook. Archbishop Colin Johnson, metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, was the presider and chief consecrator during the two-hour consecration. Bishop Linda Nicholls of the Diocese of Huron preached the sermon. Outgoing Bishop Michael Bird celebrated the Eucharist alongside the new bishop and Archbishop Johnson. The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz was also in attendance.

Bishop Bell was chosen by the clergy and people of the Diocese of Niagara on the fifth ballot of an episcopal election that took place on March 3, 2018. After a brief transition period, Bishop Bell will succeed Bishop Bird as diocesan bishop on June 1, 2018, becoming the 12th Bishop of Niagara and first woman to serve in this role.

The mission of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara is to follow Christ passionately while ensuring the growth of healthy, spiritually vibrant, justice-seeking faith communities. Its 90 parishes serve people in the cities of Hamilton and Guelph, the regions of Niagara and Halton, as well as Wellington, Haldimand and Dufferin counties.

Biography: The Right Reverend Susan Jennifer Anne Bell

Episcopal Motto: Go into all the world (Mark 16:15)

Bishop Susan Bell was elected coadjutor bishop on March 3, 2018 and consecrated on May 5, 2018. Bishop Bell will succeed Bishop Michael Bird as diocesan bishop on June 1, 2018, becoming the 12th Bishop of Niagara and first woman to serve in this role.

A strategic, mission-centred, spiritual leader, Bishop Bell strives to listen and watch for where God is at work in the church and the world and then to come alongside that work.

In addition to her diocesan ministry, Bishop Bell is also a Ph.D. candidate in Church History at St. Michael’s College, within the Toronto School of Theology at the University of Toronto. Her thesis work is an exploration of George Herbert’s Country Parson within its 17th century ecclesiastical and political context.

At the time of her election, Bishop Bell served as the canon missioner of the Diocese of Toronto, an associate priest at the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Toronto, and an honorary assistant at St. James Cathedral, Toronto. She has also served as the senior chaplain at Havergal College in Toronto, as the summer incumbent of St. George’s, Métis-Sur-Mer in Quebec and as the chaplain at Wycliffe College.

Bishop Bell is sought-after retreat facilitator and conference speaker. She is the current national team leader for Fresh Expressions Canada and has also served as the Anglican representative for the National Ecumenical Dialogue between the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada and as member of the Board of Threshold Ministries. Having a lifelong love of music, vocal performance is an area of special interest to Bishop Bell.

Born in 1966, Bishop Bell grew up in the Diocese of Niagara’s see city, Hamilton. She attended McMaster University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English before pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at Wycliffe College in the University of Toronto.  After graduating from seminary, Bishop Bell was ordained a deacon in 1997 and a priest in 1999 by the Diocese of Toronto.

MEDIA CONTACT:
The Reverend Canon Bill Mous
Communications Coordinator
905-905-527-1316 x330
[email protected]


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