The Reverend Canon Robert Fead
Deacon - April 17, 1993, Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton
Priest - May 7, 1994, Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton
Orders Transferred to Anglican Church of Canada - February 24, 2002, Diocese of Niagara
Academic Background and Professional Qualifications
Master of Divinity Degree, University of Western Ontario, 1993
Bachelor of Arts Degree (Philosophy), University of Waterloo, 1989
Parish Placements and Ministry History
- Deacon/Intern, St. Basil Parish (Diocese of Hamilton), Brantford ON, 1992 – 1993
- Associate Pastor, St. Joseph Parish (Diocese of Hamilton), Guelph ON, 1994 – 1997
- Associate Pastor, St. Eugene Parish (Diocese of Hamilton), Hamilton ON , 1997 – 2000
- Curate, St. Jude Parish (Diocese of Niagara), Oakville ON, 2002 – 2004
- Rector, St. George Parish (Diocese of Niagara), St. Catharines ON, 2004 – 2013
- Rector, St. Jude Parish (Diocese of Niagara), Oakville ON, 2013 – Present
- Honourary Canon Christ Church Cathedral, Hamilton ON, 2006 – Present
- Chaplain, Royal Canadian Chaplain Service, Ottawa ON, 2004 – Present
- Canon Reservist, Anglican Military Ordinariate, Ottawa ON, 2013 – Present
Other Areas of Interest
I have been married to my wonderful wife, Veronica, for 16 years. I can honestly say that Veronica makes me a better man and that makes me a better priest. We enjoy travel, down-hill skiing, camping and going on long rides together on our motorcycle. On our first official date we went skydiving so I knew we shared a passion for adventure. I enjoy reading about spirituality, liturgy, ecumenism and church history, as well as Canadian military history. I am a passionate sports fan supporting the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors, Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Buffalo Bills. Needless to say I have not had many opportunities in my life-time to celebrate a championship; but I still have faith! For the past 13 years I have really enjoyed my ministry to those who serve in our Canadian Forces.
“Celebrating the Life of Corporal Cirillo: the chaplain’s perspective”, Niagara Anglican, January 2015, https://niagaraanglican.ca/newspaper/docs/2015/jan.pdf
“Remembering The Fallen of World War I”, Niagara Anglican, November 2015, https://niagaraanglican.ca/newspaper/docs/2015/nov.pdf
“Christmas: a time to renew the life of the earth”, Halton Recycles, December 2013, https://haltonrecycles.wordpress.com/tag/rev-canon-rob-fead/
“Remembering Sacrifice... the sacrifice continues”, Niagara Anglican, November 2012, https://niagaraanglican.ca/newspaper/docs/2012/nov.pdf
“We Will Remember Them”, Niagara Anglican, November 2010, https://niagaraanglican.ca/newspaper/docs/2010/november.pdf
“A Letter To Our Bishop”, Niagara Anglican, January 2010, https://niagaraanglican.ca/newspaper/docs/2010/january.pdf
Hiscock, Hollis; “Parishes quadruple financial goal for area support services”, Niagara Anglican, April 2013, https://niagaraanglican.ca/newspaper/docs/2013/apr.pdf
Question #1 - What core principle(s) (max 3) guide your ministry and leadership style?
The most important leadership principle is “casting a vision”. I believe that Jesus gave us a very clear vision to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, welcome the stranger, and proclaim the Good News; in other words, to help build up the Kingdom of God on earth. In our secular culture, where we see many of our churches in decline, it is easy to get distracted from the mission of the church and only focus on the maintenance and sustainability of the bricks and mortar. One of the great things we learned from the leadership of Jesus is that one can accomplish great things, even with a small group of faithful disciples who are focused and passionate.
Second is the principle of “subsidiarity”. Once the vision is cast let the baptized fulfill the mission. No one likes to be micro-managed and all of us have already been given special gifts for ministry. We see this leadership principle in the ministry of Jesus when he sends out the seventy-two. Jesus gives them a mission and then sends them out to fulfill it. He doesn’t micro manage them but rather trusts the Spirit that is working in them. They come back rejoicing at all that they accomplished.
Question #2 - What do you think are the three most significant challenges facing the Diocese of Niagara over the next 5 years, and what is your vision for how we might respond?
Parish Viability – There is no doubt that our culture continues to change and is less inclined towards organized religion. Many of our parishes struggle to make ends meet and sustain their properties and ministries. I believe that it is important to maintain an Anglican presence in communities where parishes are struggling and in some cases closing. We have already seen some creative ways that parishes have continued to be worshipping and mission centred communities without traditional church buildings. After all Jesus said that whenever two or three are gathered in his name he is in their midst. This is the church!
Fostering Anglican Confidence – I think we have a tendency to focus too much on challenges and not enough on opportunities. We in the diocese have something significant to offer the wider community. The Bishop can be our cheerleader and story teller. We have a lot of good news to share. Be not afraid!
Opening the Doors – We need to ensure that our doors are wide open to welcome all God’s people regardless of race, sexual orientation or way of life. There are simply no exceptions. Also open doors remind us that the people of God have to go out into the world and do the work of the church. Focus on mission!
Question #3 - Identify 2 significant leadership roles you have played in your diocese. In each case, what was your role, what did you learn, and what was the outcome?
Since 2010 I have co-facilitated the Niagara Continuing Education Program in the Diocese. It is a two year program for newly ordained priests in the diocese to help them make the transition from theological school to parish ministry. Much of the role is mentoring and sharing with participants the practical aspects of parish leadership that may not have been covered sufficiently in their academic formation. I have learned that we are very blessed in the diocese to have clergy who are passionate, creative and enthusiastic about ministry. I believe it takes a great deal of courage to serve as a priest in the modern world. It is a great source of joy for me to witness these leaders grow and embrace their own unique and special ministries in the church. I have also been honoured to serve as a supervisor and mentor for a number of curates, assistants and seminarian interns. All of them continue to do great things in the service of God’s people.
I have had the privilege to serve in the diocese as a member of Synod Council, Regional Dean of Lincoln, member of the Diocesan Budget Committee and I continue to serve as a member of the Diocesan Investment Committee. I have learned from these experiences that a priest must not only be a spiritual leader but also someone who helps to oversee the temporal affairs of the church. The outcome is that we work together to ensure that we practice good stewardship over the gifts that have been given.
Question #4 - Identify a role you have played or a significant way you have been involved in the national Church and/or the worldwide Anglican Communion. What did you learn from this experience?
For the past 13 years I have served as a chaplain with the Anglican Military Ordinariate, a ministry of the National Church. I serve as the Canon Reservist on the Military Bishop’s Council. In that capacity I represent all the Anglican Reserve Military Chaplains throughout Canada. I am the senior chaplain for 31 Canadian Brigade Group with the rank of Major. In this capacity I supervise and oversee an ecumenical/interfaith team of up to a dozen reserve chaplains throughout southern Ontario. In my military career I have participated in numerous next of kin notifications for our fallen soldiers, presided at their funerals, including a nationally televised funeral from our Cathedral after the shooting of one of our soldiers in Ottawa. It has been a great honour to minister and support the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families.