Archdeacon elected bishop of Montreal

Published October 1, 2004

Archdeacon Barry B. Clarke, 52, was elected the 11th bishop of the diocese of Montreal on Sept. 18 at an episcopal election held at Christ Church Cathedral.

“He was elected first among the laity, then the clergy came around,” said Archdeacon Peter Hannen, diocesan executive officer. The 93 clerical and 153 lay voters, in four hours of voting, considered 11 candidates at the outset, said Mr. Hannen. On the fourth ballot, Mr. Clarke received 50 votes among the clergy and 90 among the laity, putting him over the simple majority needed from each order.

Mr. Clarke was educated in Montreal and has spent his career in the diocese. He holds a bachelor of theology degree from McGill University and a diploma in ministry from Montreal Diocesan Theological College. He has served several parishes in the diocese, most recently St. Paul ‘s in Lachine, since 1993. He is also priest-associate for the Sisters of St. John the Divine and chaplain international for the Order of St. Luke the Physician.

In his nomination statement, Mr. Clarke said that “as pastor to the church I would want to listen to the cares and concerns of the church both locally and globally.”

The candidate with the second highest votes was Rev. Grant LeMarquand, associate professor of biblical studies and mission at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, the diocese of Central Newfoundland failed to elect a bishop on Sept. 11 at an electoral synod held in Lewisporte, Nfld., as no candidate received more than two-thirds of the vote after 11 ballots.

“People were a little surprised. The synod was very friendly, but it was not possible to elect (a candidate),” said Bishop Bruce Stavert, acting metropolitan, or senior bishop, of the ecclesiastical province of Canada, which includes the eastern dioceses. Bishop Stavert is the diocesan bishop of Quebec and chaired the synod.

The deadlock came down to two candidates: Rev. David Torraville, executive officer of the diocese, and Rev. John E. Watton, of the parish of Badger’s Quay/Pool’s Island. “A clear group of clergy preferred John to David, but David was stronger with the laity,” said Bishop Stavert.

Bishop Stavert said he expects the diocese’s executive council will meet and “decide on a date to have another go at it.”

The current diocesan bishop, Donald Young, will retire Dec. 31. The election was held to choose a co-adjutor bishop, who is assistant bishop with the automatic right of succession upon the retirement of the diocesan bishop. Bishop Young did not attend the electoral synod, as is tradition, according to the diocese’s program officer, Margaret Jenniex.

However, said Bishop Stavert, the diocese could have an interim administrator if it does not elect before Bishop Young’s retirement.

Voting began in St. Paul ‘s church in Lewisporte at 9 a.m. on Sept. 11, with 104 clerical and lay voters. An initial nominating ballot produced 14 names. After five voting ballots, with no candidate attracting clear support, a second nominating ballot produced seven names. By 5 p.m., with no candidate attracting two-thirds of the vote after 11 ballots, the synod was adjourned, she said.


  • Solange DeSantis

    Solange De Santis was a reporter for the Anglican Journal from 2000 to 2008.

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