Dick Hunt's Blog

March 3, 2014

Consecration of the Rev’d Canon Melissa Skelton.

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Consecration of the Rev’d Canon Melissa Skelton.
Sunday, March 2nd, 2014, by Dick Hunt.

Saturday was indeed a Banner Day to recall in our memories in the Diocese of New Westminster. Dear friends from our congregation of St. John’s Church, Maple Ridge, B.C., Valerie and Terry McCafferty, drove me to Vancouver at 9:30 AM for an all day Celebration to Consecrate and install our new Bishop. Sixteen Bishops, some of whom are my dear friends from former years took part in the service at the examination and laying on of hands. The service took place in the B.C. Place Convention Centre with an estimated 2,000 people present. We were privileged to be in the sixth row of seats in front of the Altar, due to the quick thinking of my dear friends. I have devised a simple way of remembering the name of our new Bishop. Her initials are M. S. A boost to our memory may be Mel. Skel. That may lead us to her name, Melissa Skelton. Try it for size and convenience. It works for me!

The whole process was awesome and was new to me, since I had never in my nearly sixty years of Ministry been able to be a part of that most important service. Our new Bishop was installed in her office in Christ Church Cathedral tn which many people in addition to the officials, filled the building, after the Procession of the few blocks from facility to facility with the hundreds of people who could be accommodated in the Cathedral took place. A reception followed for a time of sharing and refreshment for those present. Anyone present for any part of the days’ proceedings will have firmly stamped in our memories what we enjoyed so thoroughly as the day went on. I suspect that I was likely the eldest person present and was only there because my friends took such great care of me.

I was able to renew friendships with numbers of the Bishops present in their official capacity. One such was Archbishop John Privett, our Metropolitan Archbishop for British Columbia and the Yukon. I had known him first when I was a student in Emmanuel College in Saskatoon in the mid fifties. I had been asked to preach in his Father’s Parish Church on a number of occasions and we remained good friends for many years after the Rev’d Arthur Privett and Muriel and their children moved to Whitehorse in the Yukon where Arthur ministered for many years. When I asked John if he remembered me, he said he had followed my career all the way through and we had a good little visit. Ruth and I visited them in the Yukon on a number of occasions.

I also enjoyed a brief visit with retired Bishop Rodney Andrews with whom I had worked in Alberta in my first Parish. I had prepared him for Confirmation; he had then prepared for Ordination in College, worked with us in the Parish of St. George in Stettler Alberta as a very good Student Minister and was finally ordained there just fifty years ago as a Deacon. Then as a Priest, he went on to work in various other Churches in southern Alberta and points far beyond. He learned to fly, had and still has his own plane and has his multi engine commercial license, is still teaching students and leading them into deeper commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ. He doesn’t let grass grow under his feet and it was so good to see him, even for few minutes.

I now look forward with keen anticipation to meeting our new Bishop, Melissa Skelton when that can take place. God be praised for His blessings to come, with her here, our Bishop and Chief Shepherd of the Flock of Christ.

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