Let Me Introduce Myself
New Leader for the Diocese of New Westminster
My name is Philippa Pride, and I will be the new Executive Archdeacon for the Diocese of New Westminster following the retirement of the Venerable Douglas Fenton in January 2023.
I have been ordained for just over 23 years. I was ordained in the Church of England having studied at Westhill College in Birmingham, a college within the Selly Oak Federation, and graduated from the University of Birmingham. I went to Seminary at Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford.
I served in parish ministry in the UK for 14 years before moving to British Columbia in 2013. My ministry in the Diocese of New Westminster has been in an Interim role as well as serving as a regional Archdeacon and as the chair of the committee for Mission and Ministry.
My new role takes me in a very different direction. The Executive Archdeacon serves to provide overall management of the Diocesan office, helping to coordinate clergy appointments, supporting parishes during times of transition, and coordinating the discernment and ordination process for clergy. In addition to this the Executive Archdeacon also facilitates the Diocesan anti-racism programme and the companion diocese ministry with EDNP, the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines.
I am currently in Bontoc, Mountain Province of the Philippines as I write this article! A delegation for the Diocese was invited to attend the Ordination, Consecration and Installation of the new Diocesan Bishop of Northern Philippines, The Right Reverent Benny Lang-akan.
We have had a wonderful time visiting our partner parishes and seeing many of the development projects going on around the Diocese. This is a Diocese full of hope and energy as it focuses on its vision of growth, scripture and prayer. It has been a privilege to be a part of the delegation.
Although much of the role of Executive Archdeacon appears to be managerial, it has significant impact in the rhythm of the mission of the Diocese.
As we emerge from a time of lockdown and limited contact with many of our members, we are hoping to work more closely with our congregations to support and strengthen them.
For many the last few years have been difficult, but some of our congregations have learned a lot about themselves, both strengths and weakness, and we hope to be able to help them grow in faith and discipleship. Their ministry may look quite different to how it was before the pandemic began, but I believe that many congregations have discovered a need for each other and their faith that had perhaps been taken for granted. We need to be open to new models of ministry that will support and uphold our congregations and the people who lead them.
I am excited and optimistic for the future of the church. We will need to be courageous in some of the decisions we make.
It is a privilege to be in a role that allows me to play an integral part in the lives of our parishes. I hope that I may be a source of knowledge, understanding and care for those I meet and work alongside. Bishop John Stephens said in one of our conversations following my appointment, “We are going to work hard, but have fun doing it” My hope is that the Diocesan Office will serve as a resource and support to those endeavouring to live out the Gospel message of love, hope and joy.
The Rev. Philippa Pride is a lifelong Anglican. She was ordained in 1999 in the Church of England and moved to Canada in 2013. Philippa is the parent of a teenaged daughter. She enjoys baking, photography, walking her dogs, reading, crafting, travel and dining out.