The Bishops of Ottawa

The Right Reverend Peter Robert Coffin,
VIII Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa

On the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, June 24th, 1999, Peter R. Coffin was ordained the Coadjutor Bishop of Ottawa and became the eighth bishop of the diocese on September 1st, 1999.

Peter has spent most of his ordained ministry in this diocese. Ordained in 1971, he became the assistant curate of St. Matthew?s, Ottawa, after which he spent three years in the Diocese of Kuching, in the Malaysian state of Sarawak (Borneo), where he taught Biblical Theology in the seminary of The House of the Epiphany. Upon return he became the incumbent of the Parish of Hull (St. James?, Hull; St. George?s, Gatineau and St. Mary Magdalene?s, Chelsea). During this time he was one of the founders of the francophone parish of St. Bernard de Clairvaux. He then served in the parish of Christ Church, Bells Corners in Nepean, before being appointed as Rector of Christ Church Cathedral and Dean of Ottawa, a position which he occupied for the nine years before becoming bishop. Before the Cathedral Peter had served as the Archdeacon of Western Quebec and of Carleton. He has been an occasional lecturer at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, in the Anglican Studies Program.

He did his BA (Sociology) at the University of King?s College (Dalhousie University) in Halifax; STB (Hons. Moral Theology) at Trinity College, Toronto; MA (International Affairs - Development) at The Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University in Ottawa. In 1997 The University of King?s College honoured him with a DD (honoris causa) as did Trinity College, Toronto, in 2004. During his undergraduate time, he served with the militia (Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa) and was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Army Chaplain?s Corps under the aegis of the Canadian Officer?s Training Corps. In November 2004, he was appointed by the Primate to the position of Bishop Ordinary (Anglican) to the Canadian Forces.

Peter has served on most diocesan committees and task forces. In our work through General Synod he has served in portfolios related to our partnerships overseas and in the ministries of aid and development (Partnership in World Missions Committee of which he is presently the chairperson - and its previous manifestations - and the Primate?s World Relief and Development Fund). In this work he has travelled to Partner in Mission consultations in Singapore and Burundi and Rwanda. He has also travelled in the Pacific rim, in particular Papua New Guinea, and has had a keen interest in the Philippines over a twenty year period, and was particularly involved in human rights work. He has also been involved in Ecumenical Coalition work and chaired the National Executive Committee?s task force on these coalitions. Recently he was a member of the KAIROS Team visiting Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and the West Bank and Gaza.

These express some of his ?passions?. Others include multiculturalism, our relations with the peoples of the First Nations, human rights in many areas, peacekeeping, and the simple idea that people ought to be a lot gentler and kinder with each other.

Peter and his spouse, Deborah, come from military families and regard home as wherever you live. However, they are proud of ancestral homes where they still have family. Peter?s is Farewell Cove in Gaspe County, Quebec, and Deborah?s is Pictou County, Nova Scotia. They have a daughter, Erin, who was born in Malaysia and is a graduate in Art History and postgraduate in Museum Studies.

As for other interests, Peter is an avid gardener, historian (Canadian mission history), fisherman, and inquirer into all things interesting.

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