Peter Elliott (Dean of New Westminster)

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For the English archdeacon, see Peter Elliott (Archdeacon of Northumberland).

Peter Elliott (born May 19, 1954 in St. Catharines, Ontario) is rector of Christ Church Cathedral and Dean of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada. Following the retirement of the diocesan bishop, the Right Reverend Michael Ingham, and the see being vacant, on August 31, 2013, Elliot, as Dean of New Westminster became administrator of the diocese. He continued as administrator until the ordination and installation of the next bishop, Melissa M. Skelton, on March 1, 2014.

Elliott grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario.[1] In 1976 he received in a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and philosophy from Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.[2] Subsequently, he attended and graduated from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[3] In 1981 he was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Niagara[1] Prior to coming to Vancouver, he was Director of Ministries and Society with the Anglican Church of Canada. In 1994, Elliot was made rector of Christ Church Cathedral and Dean of New Westminster.[1]


From 1995-2005 Elliott led the initiatives to restore and renew the building of Christ Church Cathedral. This program of exterior and interior renovation including the installation of a new tracker action pipe organ cost $12 million. The restoration of the cathedral won awards from the City of Vancouver and the national heritage foundation.

From 1998 to 2001, Elliott served as an officer of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada and was elected for a second term as a member of the Council of General Synod and chair of its Planning and Agenda Team.[3] In 2003 he was elected Deputy Prolocutor of the General Synod and at the General Synod in St. Catharines in 2004 and 2007, Elliott was elected was elected Prolocutor of the General Synod.

From 2000 to 2002 Elliott chaired a task force on negotiating a settlement concerning native residential schools.[4]

The Diocese of New Westminster was cited in the Windsor Report and the Anglican Communion Primates' Meeting over the issue of the blessing of same-sex unions.[5][6] Elliott was the highest-ranking (in his position as Prolocutor) openly gay cleric in the Anglican Church of Canada. In 2005, he made an official presentation to the Anglican Consultative Council in Nottingham, England.[7]

I come to this issue as man who is a Christian, ordained for 25 years, a gay man, in a committed relationship myself. I come to this meeting with the support of my partner Thomas, my family, my parish, my bishop, my diocese. And I have brought with me the very first Bible I received when I was just 4 years old. In it, in my handwriting, are the words, "Today I gave Jesus my life." It's dated March 29, 1962. I was eight years old.[7]

Elliott has served on the board of directors of the Vancouver International Film Festival.[8] He has reviewed movies for the Anglican Journal - the national newspaper of the Anglican Church of Canada and for the newspaper of the Anglican Church of Australia. In 1999, his film reviews received an award of excellence from the Associated Church Press.[1][3]

Elliott has been involved with the popular CBC readings of A Christmas Carol from their inception. His sister-in-law, Judy Maddren, is the CBC radio announcer who began the readings in 1990 in Toronto.[9] In Vancouver, Christ Church Cathedral has held the popular readings for a decade.

In 2009 he and his long-time partner, Thomas Roach, were married in a civil ceremony.

In 2009 the Vancouver School of Theology awarded Elliott the degree of Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa); in 2011 he was elected as Chancellor of the Vancouver School of Theology.

In 2012 he represented the Canadian Church at the Anglican Consultative Council in Auckland New Zealand.


In February 2013 Elliott was awarded with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal by Premier Christy Clark of British Columbia.


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