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Western Newfoundland’s Anglican bishop-elect dies in Corner Brook at age 45

John David Meade, who was elected to be the new bishop for the Anglican diocese of western Newfoundland in June, died in Corner Brook Wednesday at the age of 45.
John David Meade, who was elected to be the new bishop for the Anglican diocese of western Newfoundland in June, died in Corner Brook Wednesday at the age of 45. - Submitted

The Anglican Church community in western Newfoundland is reeling with the loss of the priest who was supposed to become the diocese’s new bishop.

Bishop-elect John David Meade died at Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook Wednesday.

He was just 45 years old.

Mr. Meade fell ill about a month after he was elected in June by the Diocese of Western Newfoundland to succeed Archbishop Percy Coffin and remained in hospital until his death. He was supposed to be consecrated and installed as the diocese’s new bishop on All Saints Day, Nov. 1, but was too ill for that to happen.

Coffin, who remains set to retire Dec. 31, handpicked Mr. Meade to be his assistant four years ago. The archbishop was thoroughly impressed with not only the young clergyman’s faith, but also his sharp administrative skills.

Coffin said Mr. Meade remained focused on his ministry even in the advanced stages of his sickness.

“He was truly a dedicated person to the Christian faith, despite significant illnesses along the road,” said Coffin. “It was almost embarrassing for the rest of us to witness this man in such deplorable health to have such a positive outlook on things.”

His election in June was obviously a sign of the impact he had on the Anglican Church community and the support he had, noted Coffin.

Coffin still plans to retire at the end of the year, but refrained from discussing the diocese’s plan to replace him. He said that process will unfold in due time.
“I think it’s sufficient for us as a faith community here to acknowledge what we have lost and who we have lost in the person of John Meade,” said Coffin. “We need our time to dwell on that.”

Coffin was busy Thursday preparing a homily to deliver at Mr. Meade’s funeral service scheduled for today. He said the message will revolve around Mr. Meade’s love of family, colleagues and his faith.

Mr. Meade, who was born in Port aux Basques and served in parishes in Cow Head, Deer Lake and Gander before coming to Corner Brook, is survived by his wife Kelly and his family and friends.

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