Former bishop of Calgary Barry Hollowell dies at 68

Bishop Barry Hollowell, retired bishop of Calgary, specialized in conflict mediation. Photo: General Synod Archives
Bishop Barry Hollowell, retired bishop of Calgary, specialized in conflict mediation. Photo: General Synod Archives
Published September 2, 2016

Barry Craig Bates Hollowell, bishop of Calgary from 2000-2005, died at the Sarcee Hospice in Calgary, August 17. He was 68.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, presided at the funeral service for Hollowell on Saturday, August 27, at Christ Church Calgary.

Hollowell, who specialized in conflict mediation, is remembered for having led his diocese through a particularly challenging period. In addition to the demographic pinch caused by falling church attendance and shrinking budgets, the first lawsuits were being filed over the diocese’s alleged involvement in abuses that occurred at Indian residential schools.

Controversial decisions-such as closing parishes, attempting to remove the cathedral designation from Calgary’s downtown Church of the Redeemer and inviting the liberal Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong to speak to the diocese-caused some in the diocese to question Hollowell’s leadership. In 2005, at age 57, he resigned from the position of diocesan bishop.

Hollowell advocated for the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in church, saying, “there is not a two-tier baptism.” After his retirement, he became active in the gay community, serving on the board of Aids Calgary and Calgary’s Outlink: Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

Hr also served the national church, including a stint as chair of the faith, worship and ministry committee of General Synod.

Hollowell spent the last years of his life practicing as a registered psychologist, and teaching as a sessional instructor at the University of Calgary, according to an obituary published in the Calgary Herald.

Hollowell is predeceased by his wife, Linda Barry-Hollowell, who died of leukemia in 2008 after years of service to the Anglican Church of Canada as a member of the board of trustees of the church’s Pension Office Corp., and the church’s pension committee.

He leaves behind his husband, Kevin Huang, three children and three grandchildren, according to the obituary.

Hollowell was born in Boston, April 14, 1948, and raised in the United States. He moved to Canada in 1974 shortly after completing an MDiv at Episcopal Theological College in Cambridge, Mass. He served as a priest in various churches in the diocese of Fredericton until 1986, after which he took up a post as rector of St. George’s, St. Catharines, in the diocese of Niagara. He became archdeacon of Lincoln in 1991, a post he held until his election to the episcopate in 1999.

In addition to his work as a minister, Hollowell was also a scholar. He held BAs from the University of Valparaiso and Cambridge University and an MA from Cambridge, and had earned two master’s degrees in psychology and pastoral counselling, as well as a PhD in counselling psychology.


  • André Forget

    André Forget was a staff writer for the Anglican Journal from 2014 to 2017.

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