Archdeacon Ian Grant, a retired priest who has been described by friends in the Anglican diocese of Huron as a “true pastor,” died on Oct. 23 after a brief illness. He was 75.
Since his retirement in 2002 from St. George’s London, and from duties as interim chair of the diocese of Huron fundraising group, Grant served as part-time assistant priest at St. Paul’s Cathedral, in London, Ont.
While at St. Paul’s, Grant was an active supporter of the Fellowship Centre, which serves 3,500 mid-day meals. There, he became a “beloved figure” among the centre’s regulars, says Dean Kevin Dixon, dean of Huron and rector of St. Paul’s Cathedral. “Two or three times a week, in collar and black suit, he stood in his accustomed place to greet the guests and offer them dessert,” Dixon told the Journal in an email interview.
Grant also visited seniors in their homes and brought the sacrament to residents at retirement homes, says Dixon, who knew Grant for more than 25 years. Dixon said he “couldn’t have asked for a more supportive colleague and friend,” than Grant.
Canon Rob Towler, rector of St. Andrew’s Memorial Anglican Church, diocese of Huron, described Grant as a “gentle, compassionate man who respected the dignity of everyone he met.” Grant mentored several clergy in the diocese and was seen by many as “the model of priestly ministry,” said Towler in an interview.
A graduate of Concordia University in Montreal, Grant was ordained a deacon in 1964 in the Anglican diocese of Montreal, where he became the assistant to the rector at Trinity Memorial Anglican Church. In 1967, he moved to Vancouver and became the assistant to the dean at Christ Church Cathedral. Three years later, he became rector at St Catherine’s Capilano in North Vancouver.
Grant’s ministry in the diocese of Huron began in 1987, when he became rector for St. George’s, London. He was later elected to Huron’s diocesan executive and sub-executive councils. In 1992, he was appointed archdeacon of Middlesex, which covers the deaneries of Brough and Medway, in the north part of London, Ont.
Grant also wrote “You Were Asking,” a column for Huron Church News, the monthly newspaper of the diocese of Huron. In 1994, Grant received the Best Columnist Award from the Anglican Editors’ Association.
Grant is survived by his wife, Carol C.M. (Heslop), their children, Jennifer and Jamie, and grandchildren.