Diocese to elect new bishop on April 5

A special convention to elect the next bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts will take place on Saturday, April 5.

Clergy and lay delegates from the parishes and missions of the diocese will gather at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (138 Tremont Street) in Boston to elect a diocesan bishop to succeed the Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE as the diocese's 16th bishop when Shaw retires later this year.

The diocese's Standing Committee will present for official nomination seven priests as candidates for election as bishop.  They are:

  • The Rev. Holly Lyman Antolini, Rector, St. James's Church, Cambridge, Mass.;
  • The Rev. Timothy E. Crellin, Vicar, St. Stephen's Church, Boston;
  • The Rev. Ronald Culmer, Rector, St. Clare's Church, Pleasanton, Calif.;
  • The Rev. Alan Gates, Rector, St. Paul's Church, Cleveland Heights, Ohio;
  • The Rev. Ledlie Laughlin, Rector, St. Peter's Church, Philadelphia;
  • The Rev. Canon Mally Lloyd, Canon to the Ordinary, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts; and
  • The Rev. Sam Rodman, Project Manager for Campaign Initiatives, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

Candidates group photo Lynn Tracy J. Sukraw From left: The Rev. Tim Crellin, The Rev. Holly Antolini, The Rev. Ledlie Laughlin, The Rev. Ron Culmer, The Rev. Alan Gates, The Rev. Sam Rodman, The Rev. Canon Mally Lloyd

Members of the diocesan community had the opportunity to meet the candidates during a series of public forums held March 14-18 in Wellesley, Boston, Lynn, New Bedford and Andover.  Video from the forum held at Trinity Church in Boston is available here; video introductions by the candidates are available here.

The slate of candidates is the result of a months-long discernment process implemented by a committee of lay and clergy members, overseen by the Standing Committee, who received applications and conducted interviews and background checks.  In January they presented a slate of five candidates.  Two additional candidates were added to the slate in February via a petition process.

The electing convention begins at 9 a.m. on April 5 with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Following the service, at approximately 9:45 a.m., the formal nominations will take place and then the balloting will begin.  Ballot results will be posted at www.diomass.org as they are announced during the course of the convention.

All canonically resident clergy of the diocese and lay delegates (two elected from each of the diocese's parishes and missions) vote separately as "orders"; a majority of votes on the same ballot from both the clergy and lay orders is required for election.  (April 12 has been set aside for reconvening, should the convention not complete its business on April 5.)

Pending consent from a majority of the Episcopal Church's diocesan bishops and a majority of dioceses (via their Standing Committees), the consecration of the bishop-elect is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Agganis Arena at Boston University, with the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding.

The current bishop, the Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, became the 15th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachsuetts in January 1995.  In preparation for retirement, he plans to resign his office at the time of the new bishop's consecration in September.

The Diocese of Massachusetts, among the Episcopal Church's oldest and largest in terms of baptized membership, comprises 183 parishes, missions, chapels and chaplaincies in eastern Massachusetts.

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Two additional candidates announced for election as bishop
Meet the bishop nominees at March 14-18 public forums
Standing Committee receives petitions for potential additional nominees
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Petition process announced for bishop election
Standing Committee gives bishop election update
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Bishop Shaw announces retirement date

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