Called to the work ‘from his mother’s womb’

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Bishop James Taylor Pryce
Bishop James Taylor Pryce

Bishop James Taylor Pryce, the retired area bishop of York-Simcoe, diocese of Toronto, died on Aug. 1, with his family by his side at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ont.

He was 74.

On his 23rd year of ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada, Bishop Pryce was elected suffragan bishop of Toronto in 1985. He retired in 2000 after serving as bishop for 15 years.

Among his many accomplishments was the creation of the York-Simcoe Ministry Day, an annual “bootcamp” event that continues to teach hundreds of parishioners “everything from improving one’s prayer life to putting on a Christmas pageant,” according to a report publishing in The Anglican, the newspaper of the diocese of Toronto.

Bishop Pryce pioneered a new way of appointing priests to parishes, cutting the process from one year to three months. Shortly after his election to the episcopate, Bishop Pryce told The Anglican that he hoped to bring “encouragement, support and challenges to the clergy.”

He also said he wanted to continue spending time with people as part of his ministry.  “I love people,” he said.  While working as an assistant curate at the Church of the Ascencion in the 1960s, he moved to an apartment in Flemingdon Park, knocking on people’s doors to offer his part-time ministry.

A devoted family man, Bishop Pryce made sure every May 24th weekend was cleared for a camping trip with his sons.  And when he retired, he said he was looking forward to making toys for his grandchildren.

Bishop Pryce also continued to contribute to the church by doing interim parish ministry. “I don’t think I could ever leave that because I feel I’ve been called from my mother’s womb into this work,” he said.

A Torontonian, Bishop Pryce earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at Bishops’ University in Lennoxville, Que., in 1962.  He was ordained a priest in the diocese of Toronto in 1963.  Among the parishes he served were Church of St. Leonard, Christ Church (Scarborough), St. Paul’s (Lorne Park), St. Thomas (Brooklin), and Church of the Ascension, all in Toronto.

Bishop Pryce is survived by his wife, Marie Louise (nee Connor), children and grandchildren.

His funeral service is scheduled at 11 a.m. on Aug. 4, at the Cathedral Church of St. James, Toronto.

 

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