The bishop of the Anglican diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, Cyrus Pitman, has announced his retirement effective this November.
In a letter to members of his diocese, Pitman said that he has informed Archbishop Claude Miller, Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada, that the diocesan synod scheduled this November 15 to 16 will elect a new diocesan bishop.
“My resignation as Bishop will be effective the date we elect a new bishop,” said Pitman.
On June 12, 2004, Pitman was elected co-adjutor bishop of the diocese, with automatic right of succession to the office of diocesan bishop. He became diocesan bishop when then bishop, Donald Harvey, retired in November that same year.
At the height of the controversy over same-sex blessings, which led to the departure of some clergy and laypeople – including the former bishop – the quiet and soft-spoken Pitman surprised many when he asked clergy in his diocese to declare their loyalty to the Anglican Church of Canada as they renewed their ordination vows and renewed their licences.
“Today, my friends, is a fresh start,” he had said in his sermon at a mandatory gathering held Jan. 21, 2008 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in St. John’s, Nfld. “It’s not a power grab as has been suggested by some. Whether someone is of a conservative bent or a liberal bent or some other bent, whatever these labels mean, I will support you… But let’s not make any mistake about it. There are boundaries.”
Ordained a priest in 1968, Pitman spent his entire career in Newfoundland, serving various parishes. Before his election as bishop, he served as the diocese’s executive archdeacon and administrative assistant to the bishop.
Born in Lamaline, Nfld., Pitman told the Anglican Journal in 2004 that he enjoys “helping new people come to faith.”
Pitman received a bachelor of arts degree from Memorial University and a licentiate in theology from Queen’s College, both in Newfoundland.