The consecration of Sandra Fyfe as the new bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island was scheduled to take place on Nov. 30. But for the bishop-elect, her involvement in episcopal ministry, in a certain sense, began much earlier.
Fyfe’s previous experience as a deacon, priest and archdeacon taught her that “episcopal ministry is a shared ministry,” the bishop-elect told the Journal.
During her time as an archdeacon, she helped form the bishop’s advisory council, discussing challenges and opportunities facing the diocese and how it might respond.
“It was very much a collective process,” Fyfe recalled.”
Fyfe’s election as the 17th Anglican bishop of Nova Scotia and P.E.I. took place on Sept. 12 at the diocese’s 149th session, which met in 11 locations across both provinces. At the time of the vote, Fyfe was rector of the Parish of Horton at St. John’s Church in Wolfville, N.S., where she had served since 2009.
Prior to her ordination, Fyfe obtained a degree in public relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and worked in that field for several years. She subsequently earned an M.Div from Queen’s Theological College and became ordained as a deacon in 2000 and a priest in 2001.
Fyfe’s ministry has included stints in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. As an archdeacon, she oversaw the South Shore Region until 2009 and the Valley Region, in the Annapolis Valley, up to 2017.
She plans to focus her initial time as bishop on getting a fuller sense of the diocese, its clergy, its people and the issues they face. Creating a new mission action plan is another priority.
“I think COVID-19 has created its own challenges,” Fyfe said. “My sense is that people are a bit weary and some people are discouraged. So I think part of my ministry will be about really listening and leaning in to some of that, and trying to discern together with the diocesan staff and diocesan council and others how to respond.”