Esteemed Anglican military chaplain and priest dies after motor vehicle collision

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Canon Robert Fead was a priest in the diocese of Niagara and an Anglican chaplain to the Canadian Armed Forces. Photo: Diocese of Niagara

Canon Robert Fead, a priest in the diocese of Niagara, died after a vehicle collision Monday, April 30.

Fead, 54, was the rector of St. Jude’s Anglican Church, in Oakville, Ont., honorary canon of Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton, Ont., and a chaplain with the Anglican Military Ordinariate.

The crash happened in Wainfleet, Ont., the St. Catherines Standard reported. While riding his motorcycle south on Wellandport Road at about 2:30 p.m., Fead collided with a Dodge Ram pickup truck, which was headed west on Willford Road. The truck driver was not injured.

A statement released by diocese of Niagara Bishop Michael Bird and Bishop-elect Susan Bell requests prayers “for Canon Rob’s wife, Veronica, and his mother, Pat; for his friends and family and colleagues; for the clergy and people of St. Jude’s, Oakville and for all the churches and military units where he served.”

Fead served as the canon reservist on the Military Bishop’s Council, representing all Anglican Reserve Military Chaplains throughout Canada. He was also senior chaplain for 31 Canadian Bridgade Group, overseeing an ecumenical team of up to a dozen reserve chaplains.

In 2014, Fead presided at the nationally televised funeral of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the reservist who was killed while standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

“My job was, in the midst of all that chaos and fear, was to bring some sense of hope,” he told Inside Halton at the time.

Fead was in the running for bishop of the diocese of Niagara in March, where he and Bishop-elect Susan Bell were nearly tied on the fourth ballot. In a questionnaire given to each of the episcopal candidates, Fead wrote about his joy in serving as a priest and chaplain, saying “it has been a great honour to minister and support the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families.”

He also wrote glowingly of his wife of 16 years. “I can honestly say that Veronica makes me a better man and that makes me a better priest…Our first official date we went skydiving, so I knew we shared a passion for adventure.”

A vigil of remembrance and prayer will be held Wednesday, May 2 at St. Jude’s Anglican Church at 7 p.m. Funeral arrangements will be posted to the diocese of Niagara website as they become available.

 

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include additional details about the collision.

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Joelle Kidd
Joelle Kidd joined the Anglican Journal in 2017 as staff writer. She has worked as an editor and writer for the Winnipeg-based Fanfare Magazine Group and as freelance copy editor for Naida Communications.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to you Veronica, our freinds at St Jude’s, and all who knew Rob. It was dumbfounding news and words won’t suffice. We mourn with you and celebrate his life with you, knowing that in the time to come, we will be re-united in God’s presence where there will be no more tears, sadness or loss.

  2. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time, Veronica and Pat.. He used to tease us because Charlie went to the Cathedral and I went to St. Georges. We will always remember him.

  3. Rest eternal grant unto Robert, O Lord. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed in your eternal mercy rest in peace. My condolences to the family and friends. He is already missed.

  4. On behalf of Christ Church, McNab I send our sympathies and so many prayers to you Veronica and Pat for the loss of dear Rob. We cannot imagine what you are going through now. I began my charge at our church the same year that Rob came to St. George’s. It was a pleasure to be his colleague in Lincoln deanery.

  5. He was a client at Hopedale Dental Care,very kind ,caring and loving man,who was so strong in his faith. The love that Robert and Veronica shared was so Special,We know that you are now with our Good Lord,Veronica, and Pat,my condolences to you at this very sad time.May you both find peace in knowing,that Robert is in the arms of our Lord and Saviour,God Bless❤️

  6. I am devastated. Rob baptized my eighth and ninth great grandchildren the day before . He promised to come and see me in hospital on Tuesday. A truly wonderful man!

  7. My thoughts and prayer are with Veronica and Patricia at this time. As Rev Rob brought a new meaning of life to me, as allway fight the Good Fight, and alway remember never never lose Hope. Thank you Joellen

  8. I would like to compliment the people of St.Judes and the members of Rob’s regiment. I am mobility challenged and everyone was so willing to lend a hand getting me in and out on Sunday. I didn’t expect anything else from anyone who had been friends of Rob.
    My sincerest condolences go out to Veronica and Pat from both me and my wife, Rob was a great friend and helped in a difficult time in my life.
    Wayne White

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