Esteemed Anglican military chaplain and priest dies after motor vehicle collision

Canon Robert Fead was a priest in the diocese of Niagara and an Anglican chaplain to the Canadian Armed Forces. Photo: Diocese of Niagara
Published May 1, 2018

Canon Robert Fead, a priest in the diocese of Niagara, died after a vehicle collision Monday, April 30.

Fead, 54, was the rector of St. Jude’s Anglican Church, in Oakville, Ont., honorary canon of Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton, Ont., and a chaplain with the Anglican Military Ordinariate.

The crash happened in Wainfleet, Ont., the St. Catherines Standard reported. While riding his motorcycle south on Wellandport Road at about 2:30 p.m., Fead collided with a Dodge Ram pickup truck, which was headed west on Willford Road. The truck driver was not injured.

A statement released by diocese of Niagara Bishop Michael Bird and Bishop-elect Susan Bell requests prayers “for Canon Rob’s wife, Veronica, and his mother, Pat; for his friends and family and colleagues; for the clergy and people of St. Jude’s, Oakville and for all the churches and military units where he served.”

Fead served as the canon reservist on the Military Bishop’s Council, representing all Anglican Reserve Military Chaplains throughout Canada. He was also senior chaplain for 31 Canadian Bridgade Group, overseeing an ecumenical team of up to a dozen reserve chaplains.

In 2014, Fead presided at the nationally televised funeral of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the reservist who was killed while standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

“My job was, in the midst of all that chaos and fear, was to bring some sense of hope,” he told Inside Halton at the time.

Fead was in the running for bishop of the diocese of Niagara in March, where he and Bishop-elect Susan Bell were nearly tied on the fourth ballot. In a questionnaire given to each of the episcopal candidates, Fead wrote about his joy in serving as a priest and chaplain, saying “it has been a great honour to minister and support the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families.”

He also wrote glowingly of his wife of 16 years. “I can honestly say that Veronica makes me a better man and that makes me a better priest…Our first official date we went skydiving, so I knew we shared a passion for adventure.”

A vigil of remembrance and prayer will be held Wednesday, May 2 at St. Jude’s Anglican Church at 7 p.m. Funeral arrangements will be posted to the diocese of Niagara website as they become available.


Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include additional details about the collision.


  • Joelle Kidd

    Joelle Kidd was a staff writer for the Anglican Journal from 2017 to 2021.

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