Citing the need for “new, fresh and strong leadership,” Bishop Donald Young, 59, said he will retire as bishop of Central Newfoundland, effective Dec. 31.
In a letter dated March 17 to the diocesan executive committee, Bishop Young noted that as of this year, he will have served the diocese for 15 years either as executive officer or bishop.
“I have endeavoured to give of myself one hundred per cent spiritually, physically and pastorally. I have always prayed that when, in my heart and soul, I felt that I could no longer give one hundred per cent, that God would give me the grace and wisdom to discern that the time had come to move on,” he wrote. “In the immediate future, this diocese will need new, fresh and strong leadership.”
In his letter, he noted that the diocese has “seen some real growth.” Now comprising 32 parishes, Central Newfoundland has upgraded its summer camp, renovated St. Martin’s Cathedral in the see city of Gander and made progress toward gaining a strong financial base, he wrote.
The last 10 years have been difficult for the diocese, where the population has been hit hard by the closure of the cod fishery.
An electoral synod has been proposed for September, with the consecration of the new bishop tentatively set for Nov. 20.
Central Newfoundland was formed in 1976, when the diocese of Newfoundland was split into three dioceses. In 1977, Bishop Young was the first deacon and priest ordained in the new Central Newfoundland area. He served parishes in Buchans and Port Rexton, becoming executive officer in 1989. He was elected bishop in 2000. He also serves on the national pension committee, the Anglican Journal board of directors and was a member of the bishops’ task force on alternative episcopal oversight and a task force that examined the office of primate. He and his wife, Joan, have four grown children.