The synod of the diocese of Huron on Oct. 25 elected its suffragan (assistant) bishop, Robert F. Bennett, as the 12th diocesan bishop of Huron.
Bishop Bennett, 59, was elected on the second ballot after receiving 111 votes from clergy and 263 votes from the laity. Total votes cast were 126 by clergy, and 308 by laity.
There were six candidates nominated for the position.
As bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada’s second largest diocese, Bishop Bennett will lead a diocese with more than 46,000 Anglicans on church rolls, 178 self-supporting congregations, and 342 clergy (including those active, retired and on leave).
Last year the diocese celebrated its 150th year as a diocese, recalling that it made history in 1857 by electing Benjamin Cronyn as its first bishop – the first time that a diocese had done so in the worldwide Anglican Communion. Until then, bishops had been named by the Queen in England.
Bishop Bennett, who has served as assistant bishop since 2002, received his master of divinity degree from Huron College in London, Ont.
Becoming a priest in 1975, he served as territorial archdeacon in the diocese of Huron and as rector of various parishes in Ontario, including All Saint’s in Windsor.; St. Mark’s, Brantford; and St. George’s of Forest Hill, Kitchener.
Bishop Bennett also served on various diocesan boards and committees and has been involved in many community initiatives.
Bishop Bennett succeeds Bishop Bruce Howe, who retired last September.
He and his wife, Kathleen, have two daughters.