Richard Johns remembered as steady presence at Church House

Richard Johns is remembered for his international ministry and reassuring presence
Published February 2, 2022

Richard Johns, who served for three decades as director of personnel at Church House, died on Nov. 28 after a year of long-term care in Vancouver. He was 93 years old.

An Anglican priest who first served as a priest in charge in California, Johns also worked in parishes in Nicaragua and Guatemala. He spent eight years in New York City employed at the head office of The Episcopal Church, before moving to Toronto to work for the Anglican Church of Canada, according to an obituary published in the Globe and Mail.

Terry Brown, the church’s former Asia/Pacific mission coordinator and a retired bishop of Malaita, in the Solomon Islands, worked alongside Johns from 1985 to 1996. He remembered his late colleague as “the very steady human resources officer” at Church House.

“His door was always open for anyone who wanted to talk confidentially with him,” Brown said of Johns. “His presence made working at Church House an enjoyable experience, despite sometimes very stressful situations and relationships.”

Like Johns, former general secretary Michael Thompson spent many years working at Church House, including two years as national youth coordinator. Thompson noted in his 2019 retirement letter that he spent those two years “learning from people like Ted Scott, Celia Hannant and Richard Johns.”

Following his retirement, Johns moved to Salt Spring Island, B.C. with his wife Yvonne, and then to Vancouver after Yvonne’s death.

The Anglican Parish of Salt Spring Island in its Dec. 12 service bulletin described Johns as a “much loved former member” of the parish.

In addition to his ministry, Johns was noted for his abilities as a storyteller and love of classical music and travel. He is survived by four grown children, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at Christ Church Cathedral in

Vancouver, with further details to be announced in spring 2022.


  • Matthew Puddister

    Matthew Puddister is a staff writer for the Anglican Journal. Most recently, Puddister worked as corporate communicator for the Anglican Church of Canada, a position he held since Dec. 1, 2014. He previously served as a city reporter for the Prince Albert Daily Herald. A former resident of Kingston, Ont., Puddister has a degree in English literature from Queen’s University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario. He also supports General Synod's corporate communications.

    [email protected]

Related Posts

Skip to content