Peter Coffin (bishop)

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The Right Reverend
Peter Coffin
Bishop of Ottawa
Church Anglican Church of Canada
Diocese Anglican Diocese of Ottawa
In office 1999–2007
Predecessor John Baycroft
Successor John Chapman
Other posts Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces (2004–2016)
Ordination 1971
Consecration 1999

Peter Robert Coffin was the eighth Anglican Bishop of Ottawa, from 1999 to 2007. He also served as the Anglican Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces from 2004 to 2016.


Coffin holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of King's College, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Trinity College, and a Master of Arts in international affairs and development from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from the University of King's College in 1997 and from Trinity College in 2004.[1]


Coffin was ordained a priest in 1971. After serving as assistant curate at St. Matthew's Anglican Church in Ottawa, he moved to Malaysia to teach Biblical theology at the House of the Epiphany, the theological seminary of the Diocese of Kuching in Sarawak. When he returned to Canada, he was appointed to various parishes in West Quebec and in the Ottawa area and served as the Archdeacon of West Quebec and of Carleton until 1990, when he became the rector of Christ Church Cathedral and the Dean of Ottawa. In 1999 he was ordained a bishop and became the eighth bishop of Ottawa on September 1st, 1999, a role in which he continued until 2007. In 2004 he was appointed as Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces;[1] he was succeeded by Nigel Shaw on May 28, 2016.[2]

Appointment of the Rev. Linda Privitera[edit]

In 2006, Coffin allowed the Rev. Linda Privitera, an American priest in a same-sex marriage, to work as a priest in Ottawa. This caused some controversy within the diocese of Ottawa due to the ongoing debate in the Anglican Church regarding same-sex marriage.[3] A group of seven priests wrote an open letter condemning this decision, saying it was a "breach of the General Synod process in place in this country and puts our relationship with the world-wide Anglican Communion in jeopardy."[4] Coffin afterward commented: "I may be called a liberal and unorthodox. But I firmly believe that people need to be treated with respect and dignity and that loving someone faithfully and in total commitment until death do them part is a blessing, regardless of sexual orientation."[3]


  1. ^ a b "Bishops of Ottawa: The Right Reverend Peter Robert Coffin". Anglican Diocese of Ottawa. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "AMO Episcopal Election". Anglican Church of Canada. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Green, Jennifer (2006-03-20). "Conservative Anglicans livid over lesbian priest". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  4. ^ "Diocesan debate about lesbian priest escalates". Anglican Journal. 2006-03-31. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by
John Baycroft
Dean of Ottawa
Succeeded by
Shane Parker
Preceded by
John Baycroft
Bishop of Ottawa
Succeeded by
John Chapman
Preceded by
A.S. Hutchison
Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces
Succeeded by
Nigel Shaw