Our Diocese, Our Vision, Our Mission
The Diocese of Huron is the presence of the Anglican Church of Canada in southwestern Ontario. Rich in over 150 years of history, Huron is a diverse and vibrant community with more than 200 churches stretching from Windsor to Port Rowan to Tobermory. At the heart of Huron are its people; congregations of faith opening their doors and their hearts to their neighbours and to the world. This section of the website provides information on the history and structure of the Diocese as well as some of the men and women you’ll meet when you worship with us. Explore the site to learn more about our clergy, our story, and to find out how you can become more involved in our Diocesan family.
Building up the body of Christ and preparing God’s people to live God’s mission in the world.
Our diocese is committed to living the Five Marks of Mission adopted by the Anglican Communion:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
Every parish is developing a Mission & Ministry Plan centered around these marks of mission that will guide the life of the parish in the coming years. This plan will incorporate sound financial stability through good stewardship of all resources including the buildings, finances and people of the parish.
“Team Huron” – the bishop, diocesan staff, archdeacons, congregational coaches and committees – support and nurture healthy congregational life alongside our commitments to Huron Church Camp, indigenous reconciliation and the wider church, nationally and beyond.
The Diocese of Huron was founded by Royal Letters Patent in 1857, its See City designated as London, Ontario, and its Cathedral (also by Royal warrant) St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, Ontario. The Diocese of Huron is unique in the Anglican Communion for having had elected its Bishops from the beginning. Benjamin Cronyn, then Rector of St. Paul’s Church, London, was elected to the new see and Queen Victoria promptly appointed him First Bishop of Huron. Consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in Lambeth Palace Chapel, Cronyn founded a large and vibrant Diocese, known for its “low-church, evangelical bent”, and populated by missionaries from the Church of Ireland.
Much has changed since its foundation, but the Diocese remains large and vibrant, although the “low-church character” has faded a great deal in the past two decades.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
The Cathedral church of Saint Paul is a venerable, historic church at the heart of downtown London. It is London’s oldest church and one of the most recognizable historic landmarks in the community, a city-designated heritage building.
The land on which the Cathedral stands is vested in the Diocese of Huron. Anglicans have worshipped on the site since 1832. Much of the present Cathedral was built in 1845, following a fire in the original structure.
The Cathedral bells have rung over the city to mark important events, calling citizens’ attention and gathering them together as a community on both religious and civic occasions. Records of significant tolls are scrawled on the walls within the bell tower.
By stepping through the doors of St. Paul’s, you are entering an important part of Huron’s history.
Amazonia – Our Companion Diocese
In 2014 the Diocese of Huron signed a Companion covenant with the Diocese of Amazonia, a new mission diocese in Brazil, around the city of Belem.
“In this Companion Diocese relationship we join hands in the Love of Jesus Christ, to share fully in His mission and ministry. We are companions in the spirit of the early Church, together devoting ourselves ‘to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.’ (Acts 2) We seek to encourage one another, sharing and enriching our faith in Jesus, recognizing and upholding the gifts that each Diocese brings to Christ’s mission. Ours is a relationship of interdependence and shared responsibility, of friendship and mutual support on the Way of Jesus. We expect that each of us will emerge from every step of this companionship journey strengthened and enriched by the other.”
(From the Covenant between the Diocese of Huron and the Diocese of Amazonia, as entered into at the synods of these dioceses in March and may of 2014)
To find our more about our Covenant go to our Ministries page.
Meet our Bishop
The Right Reverend Robert Todd Townshend, Th.D
Bishop of Huron
Deacon: May 14, 1992
Priest: November 30, 1992
Bishop: January 25, 2020
Doctor of Theology:
University of Toronto and Wycliffe College, 2007
Master of Divinity (with Honors):
Huron University College, University of Western Ontario, 1992
Bachelor of Science:
University of Waterloo, 1989
Bishop of Huron
Rector/Associate Priest/Priest in Charge
Chapel of St. John the Evangelist, Huron University College, 2011-2019
St. Aidan’s, London, 2009-2011
St. Aidan’s, London, 2002-2009
St. John the Evangelist, London, 1997-2001
St. Peter’s, Dorchester, 1994-1997
Assistant Priest to the Dean and Rector
St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, 1992-1994
Record of Service in the Church:
Diocese of Huron:
- Chair, Doctrine and Worship Committee
- Elected Member, Diocesan Council
- Elected Member, Diocesan Sub-Council
- Chair, Diocesan Youth Ministry Committee
General and Provincial Synod:
- Chair, Theological Education Commission (reporting to General Synod 2013)
- Elected Member, General Synod 2010, 2013, and 206; Provincial Synod 2012
- Member/Vice-Chair, Pension Committee and its Continuing Education Unit
- Dean, Faculty of Theology, Huron University College, 2013-2020
- Associate Professor of Contextual Theology, Huron University College, 2011-2013
- University Instructor, Huron University College, Renison University College, Canterbury College, 1999-2012
Past Bishops of the Diocese of Huron:
The Rt. Rev'd Benjamin Cronyn M.A., D.D.
(1802 – 1871)
First Bishop of Huron
28 October 1857 – 22 September 1871
(died in office)
The Rt. Rev'd Isaac Hellmuth D.D., D.C.L.
(1820 – 1901)
First Co-adjutor Bishop of Huron – styled Bishop of Norfolk
First Bishop of Norfolk
24 August 1871 – 22 September 1871
Second Bishop of Huron
22 September 1871 – 13 September 1883
(retired to England)
The Rt. Rev'd Maurice Scollard Baldwin M.A., D.D.
(1836 – 1904)
Third Bishop of Huron
30 November 1883 – 19 October 1904
(died in office)
The Most Rev'd David Williams M.A., D.D., D.C.L., LL.D.
(1859 – 1931)
Fourth Bishop of Huron
6 January 1905 – 7 October 1931
(died in office)
Metropolitan of Ontario and Archbishop of Huron
(2 November 1926 – 7 October 1931)
Episcopal Canon of Gerizim of the Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint George the Martyr, Jerusalem, Palestine
November 1924 – 7 October 1931
First Archbishop of Huron
The Most Rev'd Charles Allen Seager M.A., D.D., LL.D.
(1872 – 1948)
Fifth Bishop of Huron
25 January 1932 – 9 September 1948 (died in office)
Metropolitan of Ontario and Second Archbishop of Huron
24 November 1943 – 9 September 1948
The Rt. Rev'd George Nasmith Luxton B.A., B.D., D.D., LL.D.
(1901 – 1970)
Sixth Bishop of Huron
30 November 1948 – 2 October 1970Â (died in office)
The Rt. Rev'd Carmen J. Queen B.A., L.Th., D.D.
(1912 – 1974)
Third Suffragan Bishop of Huron – styled Bishop of St.Clair
First Bishop of St Clair
25 January 1967 – 30 November 1970
Seventh Bishop of Huron
30 November 1970 – 23 February 1974 (died in office)
The Rt. Rev'd T. David B. Ragg B.A., B.D., D.D.
(1919 – 2002)
Fourth Suffragan Bishop of Huron
25 January1974 – 26 May1974
Eighth Bishop of Huron
26 May1974 – 31 March 1984 (retired)
The Rt. Rev'd Derwyn Dixon Jones B.A., L.Th., D.D.
(1925 – 2005)
Seventh Suffragan Bishop of Huron
2 March 1982 – 26 November 1983
Second Co-adjutor Bishop of Huron
26 November 1983 – 31 March 1984
Ninth Bishop of Huron
1 April 1984 – 31 August 1990 (retired)
The Most Rev'd Percival Richard O'Driscoll B.A., S.T.B., D.D.
Ninth Suffragan Bishop of Huron
14 September 1987 – 4 November 1989
Third Coadjutor Bishop of Huron
4 November 1989 – 31 August 1990
Tenth Bishop of Huron
1 September 1990 – 31 October 2000 (retired)
Metropolitan of Ontario and Third Archbishop of Huron
26 April 1993 – 12 October 2000
The Rt. Rev'd Bruce Herbert Warren Howe B.A., M.Litt., D.D.
Fourth Coadjutor Bishop of Huron
28 October 2000 – 31 October 2000
Eleventh Bishop of Huron
1 November 2000 – September 2008 (retired)
The Rt. Rev'd Robert F. Bennett B.A., M.Div., D.D.
Eleventh Suffragan Bishop of Huron
styled Bishop of Norfolk
14 September 2002 – November 2008
Twelfth Bishop of Huron
10 January 2009 – November 2016
The Most Rev'd Linda C. Nicholls, B.A., M. Div., D.M.
Thirteenth Bishop of Huron
November 2016 – September 30 2019
Past Suffragan Bishops of the Diocese of Huron:
The Rt. Rev'd Charles Richard Alford M.A., D.D.
(1816 – 1898)
Second Bishop of Victoria, Hong Kong
(2 February 1867 – February 1872)
Bishop’s Commissary in the Diocese
14 June 1880 – 12 April 1881
The Rt. Rev'd William Thomas Thompson Hallam M.A., B.D., D.D., LL.D.
1878 – 1956)
First Bishop of Saskatchewan
(l November 1931 – 9 November 1932)
First Bishop of Saskatoon
(9 November 1932 – 28 July 1949)
First Assistant Bishop of Huron
(1 August 1949 – 25 July 1956)
The Rt. Rev'd William Alfred Townshend L.Th., D.D., LL.D., F.C.I.S.
(1898 – 1988)
First Suffragan Bishop of Huron
30 November 1955 – 30 April 1967 (Retired)
The Rt. Rev'd Harold F. Appleyard M.C., B.A., L.Th., D.D.
(1905 – 1982)
Second Suffragan Bishop of Huron – styled Bishop of Georgian Bay
First Bishop of Georgian Bay
6 January 1961 – 31 December 1973 (retired)
Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces
1970 – 1977
The Rt. Rev'd Morse Robinson B.A., L.Th., D.D.
Fifth Suffragan Bishop of Huron
21 September 1974 – 1 August 1987 (retired)
The Rt. Rev'd Geoffrey Parke-Taylor M.A., B.D., D.D.
Sixth Suffragan Bishop of Huron
14 September 1976 – 4 September 1981 (translated to Diocese of Toronto)
The Rt. Rev'd C. Robert Townshend B.A., B.Th., D.D.
(1938 – 2015)
Eighth Suffragan Bishop of Huron – styled Bishop of Georgian Bay
Second Bishop of Georgian Bay
12 September l984 – 31 January 2002 (retired)
The Rt. Rev'd Jack P. Peck M.A., B.D., D.D.
(1930 – )
Tenth Suffragan Bishop of Huron – styled Bishop of St. Clair
Second Bishop of St. Clair
19 September 1990 – 30 June 1997 (retired)
The Rt. Rev'd Terrance A. Dance B.A., M.Div., D.D.
(1952 – )
Twelfth Suffragan Bishop of Huron – styled Bishop of Norfolk
Second Bishop of Norfolk
6 June 2009 – 31 December 2015 (retired)
Meet our Archdeacons & Regional Deans
Archdeacon of Huron
The Ven. Tanya Phibbs
The Ven. Perry Chuipka