Bishop of B.C. to retire May 1

By

Brenda Still

Logan McMenamie, bishop of the diocese of British Columbia, on Cormorant Island, B.C., at the start of a 470-km walk for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in 2016. Photo: Bramwell Ryan

Logan McMenamie, who has served as bishop of the diocese of British Columbia since March 2014, will retire from the position May 1.

“It is a bittersweet experience,” McMenamie wrote of his coming retirement, in a Jan. 5 pastoral letter to members of the diocese. “Am I ready to leave the post? Yes—however there are many things and people I am going to miss.”

McMenamie said he believed the diocese had accomplished much in recent years.

“We have set a course for the future, and with commitment and hope in the Gospel, we will accomplish much more,” he wrote. “At a time when we hear that the church is in decline, we can attest to being alive in so many ways.”

The bishop added that he does not plan on “taking things easy” in his remaining months in the role.

“I realize that during a time of change in a diocese, the temptation is to shift the focus to the election of the next bishop,” he wrote. “However, I ask that you do not take your foot off the accelerator. Continue during this intentional time of prayer to seek new ways to minister together as we work to transform our future.”

In May, McMenamie will turn 70, mandatory retirement age for bishops in the diocese.

McMenamie was dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, B.C., when he was elected bishop, succeeding James Cowan. Arriving in Canada from his native Scotland as an engineer in 1974, he had felt a call to ordination while serving as volunteer youth minister in Port Alberni. McMenamie completed a master of divinity degree at the Vancouver School of Theology and was ordained a deacon in 1986 and a priest the following year. He served as priest at three churches on Vancouver Island before becoming dean in 2006. His episcopacy was marked by, among other things, a 470-km walk through the diocese aimed at reconciliation with local Indigenous peoples; the presence, during much of 2015-2016, of a 300-person “tent city” of homeless people across the street from the cathedral; and the repurposing of a number of the diocese’s former buildings for affordable housing.

McMenamie has served his entire life of ministry in the diocese of British Columbia, which covers Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands of the Strait of Georgia and Kingcome Inlet on the B.C. mainland.

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Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.

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