A Conversation with Our New Bishop

The 7th and 8th Bishops of Brandon share a moment before the consecration service on February 18th.
By on May 1, 2024

Karen Webb sat down with the new Bishop in early April to have a conversation with her in her first months as our Bishop.

KW: Welcome to the Diocese of Brandon. We know you’re not from Manitoba, so please, tell us first a little bit about where you grew up.

+RP: I was born in Lindsay, Ontario, but we moved around a lot through southwestern Ontario, so I don’t think of a specific place, but the area. We ended up in London, Ontario, which is where I went to university. Now I think of home as being where I am with my husband, Rob. If he’s there, it’s home. Between his postings with the Canadian Forces and mine in various dioceses, we’ve moved around a fair bit, so I don’t think of home as being a place so much as I think it’s a relationship.

KW: Where have you worked previously in the Anglican Church?

+RP: I started in the Diocese of Huron, because I graduated from Huron Theological College. That was the first nine years. Then, I worked in Halifax (in the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) for seven years. It’s where I really began to understand what it means to be a priest. I enjoyed it tremendously and I learned a lot. I also worked part-time in the Diocese of Ottawa for a little more than a year. This was when Rob was posted to Petawawa, which is at the northwest end of the diocese. I did a lot of supply work for the Parish of the Valley. Then, we ended up in Alberta. With the best of fortunes, both of us were posted and I took over the Dayspring Ministries, based in Wainwright, east of Edmonton. I realize looking back that it was God’s calling that I learn about how different Canada can be from one place to another. Whenever I drive, regardless of where it is, I find it’s beautiful.

KW: How did you decide you were called to be a bishop?

+RP: I don’t know if I’d put it that way. It started in Edmonton, where I was nominated to be bishop there. I thought long and hard about it, prayed about the question of who I was and where I was going in this life. I’d never discerned anything in me previously that thought I would become a bishop. It was a series of steps. What would I do if I weren’t elected? Obviously, I’d stay where I was in the Dayspring Ministries. And I was happy with that. I liked what I was doing. With regard to Brandon, there was also the question of what would we do if Rob didn’t get posted? We decided we’d work that out later, and at that point, I felt an incredible sense of calm. The electoral synod was wonderful. We got to meet people, got to hang out with Cody, and really began to appreciate the gifts Brandon has. Rob kept giving me his “when are you going to freak out?” look.

KW: And now?

+RP: And now I am working as hard as I can to learn about the people and culture of this diocese. I have always been mindful of it, kept it in my prayers because I knew Bishop Bill from Huron, but every day I find I have learned something new. It’s wonderful. I’m grateful it’s easy to get around. I’m really not a city person and this city is big enough for me. I’ve been warned that I’ll have a lot of driving in my future, but I’m looking forward to it. I really want to see the north, so see places like The Pas and Churchill. And yes, I know I can’t drive to Churchill, but you can be sure I’ll go.

KW: What are you hoping you accomplish?

+RP: All I want to do is serve Christ. I don’t need much more than that. If I can serve Christ, I’m good to go. I don’t need any feathers in my cap.


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