Archdeacon Rachael Parker, a self-described “cradle Anglican” with experience priesting in Ontario, Nova Scotia and Alberta, was elected bishop of the diocese of Brandon Nov. 25.
“Upon hearing that I had indeed been elected to be their servant shepherd, I felt as though the Holy Spirit had wrapped me in a blanket of peace and love,” Parker told the Journal. “As a sibling of an adopted sister, I was overcome with the same sense of immediate love for the people of Brandon as I was when my infant sister was brought into our home permanently. A love that knows no bounds was given and shared.”
Parker was elected on the second ballot in an election with one other candidate, the Rev. Chad McCharles, rector at Neepawa United-Anglican Shared Ministry, Neepawa, Man.
Most recently the rector for Dayspring Ministry, a collaboration between three small town parishes in the diocese of Edmonton, Parker has also served in numerous roles since her ordination in 1999. Her career has seen her through such positions as archdeacon of rural ministry in the diocese of Edmonton, regional dean of Halifax’s Chebucto region and diocesan youth chaplain in the diocese of Huron.
In a video introducing herself to the diocese of Brandon, Parker spoke of her love for serving widespread congregations in small communities.
“We need to share the good news that there is hope, there is possibility, there is a greater tomorrow, because to be frank our world right now is looking very bleak,” she said. “When I wake up in the morning and I look to God for hope, I realize that Jesus is calling me … to give the good news that there is a bright day coming.’
Parker will succeed Bishop William Cliff, who had served in the role since 2016 before becoming bishop of the diocese of Ontario in 2023.