Hilchey was church’s former General Secretary

Published January 1, 2007

Archdeacon Harry Hilchey had recently written about his years in minstry.

One of his favourite biblical texts, Archdeacon Harry Hilchey once said, was “Jesus went.” Jesus went to people. He reached out to people. He didn’t wait for them to come to him.

Archdeacon Hilchey, who died on Nov. 17, sought to emulate that example and was known as someone who, in the words of retired bishop Peter Mason, “befriended the lost, shepherded the faithful, and counseled the famous.”

Ordained in the diocese of Toronto in 1944, Archdeacon Hilchey served the Anglican Church of Canada in many capacities: in 1974 as deputy prolocutor (an officer of General Synod), from 1975 to 1979 as prolocutor and from 1979 to 1987 as General Secretary.

Born in 1922, Archdeacon Hilchey began life in Popes Harbour, N.S. In 1941, he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Dalhousie University. He received a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Toronto, and later studied theology at Wycliffe College.

Upon his ordination to the priesthood, he served in the dioceses of Toronto, Nova Scotia and Montreal, where he was principal of the Montreal Diocesan Theological College from 1974 to 1978. He attended at least a dozen meetings of General Synod as a member and he also served on the National Executive Committee (now the Council of General Synod, the national church’s governing body between General Synods).

Upon his retirement as the national church’s general secretary, he served Toronto’s Wycliffe College as director of development and communications, acting principal and archivist. He also took on interim ministry appointments in the diocese.

Archdeacon Hilchey possessed “a life-long fascination with people,” Bishop Mason wrote in the foreword of Ministry in Many Places, a recently-released book about Archdeacon Hilchey’s life that his friends had urged him to write.


  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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