We commend Thomas Murray Anthony, Priest, to God and give thanks for his wide-ranging ministry in our diocese and in the Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church, and the Missionary District of Puerto Rico.
Tom died at Youville Residence in Vancouver on February 17, 2023. He had been ill for some time. Tom was born in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in Vancouver. He is survived by his wife Dawn, sisters Helen, Ruth and Carol, brothers Alan and Ken, children Stephen, Jonathan, Joel, Jennifer, Kerra and Tomas and his grandchildren.
Tom earned a BA in English and History from UBC in 1958 and a Master of Sacred Theology from the General Theological Seminary in New York in 1961, where he studied on a Rockefeller Scholarship. He took his Clinical Pastoral Training at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Tom also became fluent in Spanish.
In 1954, Tom worked with the Columbia Coast Mission, serving on the mission boat from Whaletown, Cortes Island.
Ordained to the diaconate at St. John, Shaughnessy in 1961 by Bishop Godfrey Gower, and to the priesthood in 1962 at Church of the Good Shepherd in San José, Costa Rica by the Bishop of Central America on behalf of the Bishop-in-Charge of the Missionary District of Puerto Rico of the Protestant Episcopal Church. His canonical residence was transferred to the Missionary Diocese of Puerto Rico.
In the Missionary District of Puerto Rico he was Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of Cristos Rey in Caguas from 1962 to 1968, as well as being a non-stipendiary Associate Priest at the Cathedral of St John, San Juan from 1966 to 1968. He was Director of Field Work at the Episcopal Seminary of the Caribbean from 1965 to 1968, and the Coordinator and Director of Community Action Programmes in the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico from 1964 to 1968. Tom’s canonical residence was transferred to the Diocese of New Westminster in 1972.
He served in The Episcopal Church USA for ten years including at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City. In 1968, he became the Associate for Experimentation and Development for the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, and he held this position until 1971. He was a non-stipendiary Associate Priest at St Mark’s in the Bowery, New York from 1969 to 1972.
Tom worked at the National Office of the Anglican Church of Canada as Director of the National Programme Management Unit for almost ten years from 1972 to 1982. While there, he supervised many key church committees and organizations including the World Programme Staff, PWRDF Staff, Social Action Ministries Staff, Missionary Society, and the National Human Rights Unit. He made significant leadership contributions to the Statement of Principle for the Anglican Church of Canada on Dignity, Inclusion, and Fair Treatment-A Call to Human Dignity. Tom consulted widely with many government, church and ecumenical organizations around the world during his time at the National Office. He was also known for his work against apartheid and in support of refugees. In the Diocese of Toronto he was a non-stipendiary Associate Priest at Holy Trinity Church, Eaton Square from 1974 to 1982.
For many years he had a conference and travel agency, All Destinations Travel. He worked in the public service as Chief of Community Relations for the BC Human Rights Commission in 1982. Tom was the diocesan appointee to the BC Periodical Review Board in 1986.
Tom served in the Diocese of New Westminster in a number parishes as Interim Priest-in-Charge, Supply Priest, or Associate Priest including St Helen, Surrey, St Mark, Kitsilano, St Mary the Virgin, Sapperton, St Mary, Kerrisdale, St Matthew, Vancouver, St Augustine, Marpole and Christ Church, Hope. He was a member of the Camp Artaban Board from 1999 to 2003.
Tom was held in high esteem for his work as a social activist and proponent for justice.
A liturgy will be held at St. John, Shaughnessy on Saturday, May 13 at 11am. The Right Reverend Michael Ingham will preside.
The Reverend Tom Anthony, anti-apartheid protest, Toronto, circa 1978