Huron diocese elects new suffragan bishop

Published March 28, 2009

Bishop-elect Terrance Dance

Dean Terrance “Terry” A. Dance has been elected the new suffragan (assistant) bishop of the London, Ont.-based Anglican diocese of Huron.

Bishop-elect Dance, who has been dean of the diocese and rector of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Ont., was elected on the fourth ballot. He received 198 votes from lay delegates and 75 from clergy during an election that drew 400 delegates March 28 at St. Paul’s Cathedral. He was chosen out of 10 candidates.

He succeeds Bishop Robert Bennett, who was elected diocesan bishop last October.
“This has been a time of discernment. And God has today shown the direction for me in ministry,” Bishop-elect Dance was quoted by The Chatham Daily News as saying.

“I believe effective leadership in the church at all levels must be encouraging and enabling. Authoritarian leadership, thank God, has had its day,” he has said in a written response to a question posed to nominees of the election: “What does leadership in the church mean to you in today’s environment?” He added: “Micro-managing, while perhaps efficient, denies the God-given gifts of all of the baptized and limits perspective. Leadership which grows out of a shared vision and which recognizes, encourages and enables the gifts of all of the baptized promotes a sharing of responsibilities and a sense of being connected.”

Asked what skills he would offer to support the diocesan bishop’s ministry, Bishop-elect Dance pointed to his 32 years as a priest working in “city, experimental, rural, small town and inner city ministries” and in various administrative capacities as archdeacon and dean of the diocese.

Ordained a priest in 1977, Bishop-elect Dance also served as rector of five other churches from 1980 to 2001 – Trinity Church in Simcoe; St. John’s, Sandwich; Holy Trinity, Chesley; Church of the Ascension Paisley; and Christ Church, Tara.

He received a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Western Ontario in 1973, a master of divinity degree at Huron College in 1976, and a doctor of divinity degree at Huron University College in 2006. He has also been a member of General Synod, the Anglican Church of Canada’s governing body, since 1991.

He has chaired the diocesan executive staff since 2001, and the diocese’s compensation committee since 2007. He was also a member of the Imagine Huron planning committee from 2004 to 2006.

His community involvement outside church includes being chaplain inspector to the Ontario Provincial Police’s Western region since 1997.


  • 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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