Archdeacon Dr. Geoffrey Peddle was elected as diocesan bishop in the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador at a synod on Nov. 16.
Bishop-elect Peddle was voted in with a two-thirds majority in both the houses of clergy and laity on the second ballot. “It was over much sooner than I thought it would be,” he told the Anglican Journal, noting that there was “a real sense of unity at the synod.”
In recent years, Peddle has been very involved in theological education in the diocese. He imported a six-year bachelor of theology program from Glyndwr University and the Anglican St. Mary’s Centre in Wales to the diocese, which enabled people in Newfoundland and Labrador to complete degrees through part-time distance education studies. That program is now in the process of being fully transferred to Queen’s University in St. John’s, where Peddle has been serving as provost and vice-chancellor since June. Although he will be leaving his post at the college to take over his new duties, Peddle says he will continue to support the program as bishop.
Peddle will be ordained in mid-January, succeeding Bishop Cyrus Pitman, who is retiring this month.
Peddle said he wants to spend a good chunk of time early in his episcopacy listening. “I want to do some work in community building and community renewal, but the great news is that the diocese is actually quite healthy,” he said. “There’s a lot of good things happening here, and I just want to build on the work that’s already been done.”
Since becoming a priest in 1988, Peddle has served his entire ministry in the diocese. “So there’s no church I haven’t been to and no parish I haven’t spent time in Newfoundland and Labrador, so that’s a real blessing for me. I already know a lot of people,” he said.
He has served in various parishes, including Cartwright, Lake Melville, Arnold’s Cove and Mount Pearl, and as the diocesan executive officer with Bishop Pitman from 2005 until 2009.
Peddle says he is looking forward to meeting his colleagues in the House of Bishops and “contributing to their work as best I can.”
Reflecting on his election, Peddle said he has had “an incredible sense of peace” since the synod, as well as hope for the future. “I just consider that a gift from God.”
He and his wife, Kathy, will continue to live in Mount Pearl. Their sons Adam, 26, and Ben, 24, are both graduate students in Ireland and London, Ont., respectively.