Archdeacon Ian Stuchbery, formerly of the archdeaconry of St. Mary’s in the diocese of Montreal, died peacefully on June 2 at his home in Greenwich, N.S. A memorial Eucharist was held for him on June 13 at St. John’s Anglican Church in Wolfville, N.S.
Born into an English Anglo-Catholic family in Leytonstone, northeast London, 1934, he did his national service in the Royal Air Force from 1952 to 1955, during which time he felt called to the ministry. Before ordination, he took a master of arts degree at the University of Cambridge’s Selwyn College and later a bachelor of divinity at Montreal Diocesan Theological College, McGill University.
Made a deacon at Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal, in 1960, he was ordained a priest in the diocese of Chelmsford, U.K., where he ministered in several parishes. Returning to Canada, Stuchbery served in the diocese of Montreal at Christ Church Cathedral, St. Philip’s and St. Barnabas (St. Lambert), as well as in the diocese of Rupert’s Land at St. Matthew’s, Winnipeg.
During the 1970s, Stuchbery was a board member of the Centre for Bioethics at McGill University and became an early advocate for the recognition of same-sex unions. He was acutely aware of the evangelical urgency of the gospel in the post-Christian secular setting, and his work in inner-city Montreal communities led him to co-found Tel-Aide, one of Canada’s first telephone crisis lines. He was also a member of numerous General Synod task forces and of committees for the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.
After retirement from the diocese of Montreal in 1999, Stuchbery acted as interim priest-in-charge at St. Cuthbert’s, Delta, in the diocese of New Westminster and continued to serve in interim and supply capacities in Prince Edward Island parishes.
Stuchbery was the author of several publications, including Growing in Christ; This Is Our Faith: A Guide to Life and Belief for Anglicans; We Are the Branches: Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund-The First 25 Years; and Experiencing God in a Secular World.
“I admired his ability to translate the often challenging details of Anglican tradition and practice into prose that was clear, accessible and a pleasure to read,” said Robert Maclennan, former manager of ABC Publishing, who worked with the archdeacon on This is Our Faith. “Ian possessed the gift of grasping complex and diverse concepts, organizing them into coherent structures and articulating them in congenial language. His warmth, sincerity and intelligence shone through.”
A gifted spiritual director, Stuchbery was also an associate of the Sisters of St. John the Divine.
He is survived by his three children, Alison Lannan, Nick Stuchbery and the Rev. Canon Mike Stuchbery, as well as his 10 grandchildren.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with a comment from Robert Maclennan, former manager of ABC Publishing, who worked with Archdeacon Ian Stuchbery on one of his books.