Anglican Diocese of Montreal

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For the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal see, see Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal.
Diocese of Montreal
Dom coa2.png
Ecclesiastical province Canada
Parishes 72
Churches 120
Rite Anglican
Cathedral Christ Church
Current leadership
Bishop Barry Clarke

The Diocese of Montreal is a diocese of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada of the Anglican Church of Canada, in turn a province of the Anglican Communion. The diocese comprises the 21,400 square kilometres encompassing the City and Island of Montreal, the Laurentians, the South Shore opposite Montreal, and part of the Eastern Townships. The See city is Montreal, and the cathedral is Christ Church. The diocese maintains approximately 9,000 on its parish rolls[1] in about seventy parishes.

The diocese was established in 1850, having been carved off from the Diocese of Quebec. The first synod was organised nine years later. Its first bishop, Francis Fulford, was influenced by the Oxford Movement, and the diocese historically held a generally Anglo-Catholic or high church orientation. Today, like the Anglican Church of Canada generally, liberal theology dominates, with the bishop approving a form for blessings for same-sex unions in 2010.[2]

While Montreal was the largest Canadian city and the centre of commerce in the country, the diocese thrived. In recent decades, however, as these attributes have shifted to Toronto, the English-Canadian population in the diocese has shrunk dramatically, forcing the merger and the closure of parishes. The diocese's original membership of 25,000 150 years ago has shrunk by over one-third, even as the total population in the civil region has expanded from about 70,000 to over 3,000,000[3]—a 9000% decrease in its proportional importance. The diocese's decline thus far exceeds Montreal's relative loss of prestige to Toronto.

With both the dioceses of Montreal and Quebec now having less than 10,000 members, and decreasing membership, discussions are underway for the eventual merger of the two fading dioceses, beginning with an exploration of opportunities for combined administration.[4]

The present bishop, the diocese's eleventh, is Barry Clarke. He succeeded Andrew Hutchison after he became Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Bishops of Montreal[edit]

Bishop Name Dates Notes
1st Francis Fulford 1850 – 1868 Metropolitan of Canada, 1861–1868
2nd Ashton Oxenden 1869 – 1878 Metropolitan of Canada, 1869–1878
3rd William Bond 1879 – 1906 Metropolitan of Canada, 1901–1906 ; Primate of All Canada, 1904–1906
4th James Carmichael 1906 – 1908
5th John Farthing 1909 – 1939
6th Arthur Carlisle 1939 – 1943
7th John Dixon 1943 – 1962 Metropolitan of Canada, 1960–1962
8th Kenneth Maguire 1963 – 1975
9th Reginald Hollis 1975 – 1990 Metropolitan of Canada, 1989–1990
10th Andrew Hutchison 1990 – 2004 Metropolitan of Canada, 2002–2004 ; afterwards Primate of All Canada, 2004–2007
11th Barry Clarke 2004 – present

Further reading[edit]

  • O.W. Howard 'The Montreal Diocesan Theological College: A History from 1873 to 1963' (Montreal: McGill University Press, 1963)


  1. ^ "Montreal Anglican", June 2010
  2. ^ "Montreal Anglican", June 2010
  3. ^ "Francis Fulford," Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
  4. ^ "Montreal Anglican", June 2010

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°30′14″N 73°34′13″W / 45.5038°N 73.5702°W / 45.5038; -73.5702