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The two archdeacons with diocesan roles; Executive Archdeacon and Archdeacon of Vancouver, the Venerable Douglas Fenton and Archdeacon for Deacons, the Venerable Bruce Morris have both announced their intention to retire.

Archdeacon Morris will retire, May 31, 2022, and Archdeacon Fenton on January 4, 2023.

Originally from northwestern Ontario, the diocese of Keewatin, the Venerable G. Douglas Fenton, DD came to the diocese of New Westminster to begin his ministry as Interim Priest-in-Charge of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Port Coquitlam, September 1, 1995. He completed his incumbency April 1998. He began ministry as Assistant Priest at St. James, Vancouver on Palm Sunday 1998. During his tenure at St. James, he was appointed Regional Dean of Burrard by then-bishop of the diocese, the Right Reverend Michael Ingham. In March of 2002, Archdeacon Fenton began a new phase of his ministry as Staff Officer for Young Adults and Campus Ministry at the national office of The Episcopal Church in Manhattan. During his years in New York, he served as Assistant Priest at the Church of St. Luke-in-the-Fields and Associate Priest at Christ and St. Stephen in the Episcopal Diocese of New York. 

After nine years in Manhattan, Father Douglas and his husband Keith decided that it was time to head back to Douglas’s country of birth and citizenship and they chose Vancouver. In 2010, the Diocese of New Westminster circulated a posting seeking a Director of Mission and Ministry and Douglas applied. He was appointed to the position by Bishop Ingham on March 1, 2011, and served until the retirement of then-Executive Archdeacon, the Venerable Ronald Harrison December 31, 2012, when Bishop Ingham appointed him Executive Archdeacon of the diocese. 

There are many highlights of Archdeacon Fenton’s tenure but certainly among them would be: his supervision of the renovations of 1410 Nanton Avenue and the Synod Office move in 2015; the establishment of diocesan-wide dismantling racism training; the Companion Diocese relationship with Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines; the updating of, and increase in, the scope of safe church training and Screening in Faith; the receipt of an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree at the November 2, 2014, convocation ceremonies at his seminary, St. John’s College, University of Manitoba; his role in the renewal and revising of diocesan Constitution, Canons and Regulations; in partnership with Archdeacon Morris the development of the Diploma in Anglican Diaconal Studies at Vancouver School of Theology; his leadership on various committees and as a General Synod delegate at the national church, and much more.

Archdeacon Fenton will continue in his role for another eight months and will participate in the transition for his successor. Father Douglas will support his husband Keith as he continues to work and when they have the opportunity, they are looking forward to doing some travelling.

Although there had been deacons in the Diocese of New Westminster prior to 1995, June 18 of that year is seen as the date when the diakonia became fully restored in the diocese, with Bishop Michael Ingham ordaining three deacons to the vocational diaconate, not as transitional deacons on the path to the priesthood. Soon there were 12 more ordinands to the diaconate and many others followed answering God’s call to serve, taking the Gospel out into the world, through word and action, to people and places yearning to hear the good news. The Venerable Bruce Morris was one of that first cohort. Appointed to the Parish of St. Hilda-by-the-Sea in his hometown of Sechelt on BC’s sunshine coast, Archdeacon Morris has been an effective leader and mentor, a true servant of God. He was appointed Archdeacon for Deacons in early 2015, by then-Bishop Melissa Skelton (succeeding the Venerable John Struthers) and collated Archdeacon for Deacons that same year at Diocesan Synod in May. A skilled and successful Chartered Professional Accountant, Archdeacon Morris began his professional career in 1977 and in February of 2017, he was one of the eight fellows named by the British Columbia Chartered Professional Accountants. The fellowship (FCPA) designation is awarded to chartered professional accountants who have provided exceptional services to the profession or whose achievements in their careers and/or in the community have earned them distinction and brought honour to the profession.

In his ministry he has been a tireless supporter of ‘vocation’ the response to God’s Call to ministry. Under his leadership, the annual diocesan Vocation Days were established to reach out into each worshipping community and beyond offering people access to information about, and community where, they could explore Divine Call. In late 2017, and through 2018, St. Hilda’s church required significant building remediation and Archdeacon Bruce filled the role of Project Manager for the parish, there every step of the way doing whatever he could, whenever he could to help the project to a successful outcome. He was always present for diocesan worship (ordinations, installations etc) and diocesan meetings and events even though the journey from his home in Sechelt to the mainland was not always convenient.

An avid sailor, Bruce plans to spend lots more time on the ocean and lots more time with his family.

The Reverend Peggy Trendell-Jensen, Deacon at St. Clement, Lynn Valley has been appointed his successor and will begin her new ministry on June 1, 2022.

Please keep Douglas, Bruce and Peggy in your prayers as they enter into this next phase of their lives and ministry.


The Venerable G. Douglas Fenton Photo by Wayne Chose

The Venerable Bruce Morris Photo by Kallberg Studios