Barry Hollowell has announced his resignation as bishop of Calgary effective Aug. 31, stating in an open letter that it would be “in the best interest of the diocese” that he do so in order that it may “move forward in its life and work.”
The decision came four months after he ordered the closure of three inner city churches and stripped the downtown Church of the Redeemer of its cathedral designation
Bishop Hollowell indicated in his letter that he has been personally blamed for decisions made with regards to the diocese’s challenges, including the residential school litigation and limited parish resources, which has led to the church closures. “Facing these challenges, and moving forward through them, is a responsibility that falls not only to the bishop, but to each ordained person and congregation who form this diocese,” he said. He added: “When I first came to this diocese, it was an acknowledged fact that life in the diocese of Calgary was marked by factiousness and conflict. I have attempted in these five years to counter this, and to work for the unity and well-being of the clergy and people of our Anglican family in southern Alberta.”
Resignations of Canadian bishops are rare and they usually have to do with ill health.
Bishop Hollowell told a diocesan executive committee meeting in March that he plans to return to pastoral ministry; Archdeacon Derek Hoskin has been appointed administrator until a new bishop is elected.
Bishop Hollowell, who has a background in mediation, counseling and ecumenical work, became Calgary’s seventh bishop in 1999.