The Rev. Dr. Michael Lloyd made the Anglican Book Centre both a profit centre and a meeting centre. Photo: Anglican Journal
The Rev. Dr. Michael John Lloyd, CA, passed away on April 21, 2013, at the Toronto Grace Hospital.
Born in England on Jan. 27, 1935, a few year years before the outbreak of World War II, Fr. Lloyd later spoke of standing on the edge of a cliff as a boy to watch the aerial “dog fights” between British and German planes.
He graduated from the University of Leeds in 1956 and arrived in Montreal in 1957 to join the chartered accountancy firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Company.
The same year, he entered Diocesan Theological College in Montreal, graduating with a bachelor of divinity degree from McGill University in 1960 and also gaining admission to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Quebec.
Ordained in the diocese of Montreal in 1963, Fr. Lloyd served as assistant priest at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Lachine until 1965 and then became manager of the Diocesan Bookroom in Montreal as well as an assistant at Christ Church Cathedral.
Hired as director of the Anglican Book Centre (ABC), he relocated to Toronto and turned around the ailing book emporium. Thanks to his business acumen, Lloyd’s years as director from 1968 to 1995 were among the centre’s most profitable. According to anglican.ca, Lloyd transformed the centre into a veritable cash cow, expanding its inventory of high-quality non-print products—including fine pieces from London's finest silversmiths, vestments from the Vatican's Belgian suppliers. He travelled abroad to personally handpick jewelry and icons to sell in the store.
Profits aside, however, says the Rev. Daniel Graves, priest-in-charge at Trinity Anglican Church in Bradford, Ont., “Michael created a unique and remarkable place, a hub, a nexus, in which folks of all sorts and conditions, from all branches of Anglicanism and the wider Christian community would meet, share their experiences in ministry, exchange idea, and find the finest selection of religious books and merchandise anywhere in North America.” Lloyd hired Graves as a bookstore clerk.
“Indeed, under his leadership, the centre quickly became known as the greatest religious bookstore in the world,” Graves adds. “When visiting clergy and church dignitaries from around the world came to Toronto, a stop at Anglican Book Centre was always a requisite part of the journey.”
As ABC director, Lloyd was instrumental in establishing a successful trade publishing program for the church, publishing both The Book of Alternative Services 1985 and Common Praise 1998.
Always impeccably attired, “Michael could have been a character in a Trollope novel,” says Graves. “He was well known for his variety of interesting hats. On one memorable occasion he wore a tricorn hat into the book centre on Bastille Day. He had a wry sense of humour and eclectic tastes, all of which gave the centre its unique identity.
Anne Tanner, former manager of the ABC, recalls Lloyd as a larger-than-life figure—“a quiet but forceful presence and a sometimes unpredictable and intimidating man who was also very kind to those in trouble. He was very good dealing with the customers.”
After retiring from the ABC, he was associate priest at All Saints’ Kingsway Anglican Church and honorary assistant at St. George’s On-the-Hill Church, both in Toronto. The Rev. Canon Andrew Sheldon, parish priest at All Saints’, remembers Lloyd as a bon vivant, who loved life, fine suits and good food.A devoted servant of the national church, Fr. Lloyd received an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contributions
Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.
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