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Anglican Consultative Council's Director of Ecumenical Affairs to be new Suffragan Bishop

Posted on: July 19, 2002 11:39 AM
The Revd Canon David Hamid with the Rt Revd Geoffrey Rowell during the press conference announcing the new appointment
Photo Credit: ACNS
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The Revd Canon David Hamid, 47, Director of Ecumenical Affairs and Studies for the Anglican Consultative Council since 1996, is to be the next Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese in Europe. He will take up his duties following his consecration by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops on 17 October in central London.

Born in Scotland to Scottish and Burmese parents, Canon Hamid has spent much of his ministry in Canada, and holds dual Canadian and British citizenship. He was rector of St John's Burlington, Ontario (1983-87), where he developed a mission congregation into a self-supporting parish.

For nearly ten years (1987-1996) he was one of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada's Regional Mission Co-ordinators. He worked to strengthen relationships between Canadian Anglicans and their Anglican and ecumenical partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. This included collaborating in practical programmes of evangelism, training, and youth ministry, as well as supporting mission partners in the field, developing policy and working on a range of international issues.

Since 1996 he has been the Director of Ecumenical Affairs and Studies for the Anglican Consultative Council, based in London, developing forward-moving relations both between world communions and more localised Church families, and resourcing ecumenical relations in the different dioceses and provinces of the Anglican Communion.

Canon Hamid has been secretary, member or consultant in many international ecumenical dialogues, including those with Baptist, Lutheran, Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. He has also been a consultant to the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission and an ex-officio member of the Church of England's Faith and Order Advisory Group.

He has established good working relationships with many of the Diocese in Europe's partners in Continental Europe. He is a special advisor to the European Provincial Consultation set up at the request of the Lambeth Conference 1998. He is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Canon Hamid said of his appointment, "As I look back on my ministry to date, I can see how, in so many ways, it may have been a preparation for what is coming, through my involvement with the Church's ecumenical life, the international and multicultural dimensions of her mission and ministry, developing and nurturing her work in places where Anglicans are clearly in the minority among other Christians. I am looking forward very much to the fresh challenges which this appointment brings, in getting to know the clergy and people of the diocese and to working with Bishop Rowell."

A keen traveller, David is married to Colleen (a research scientist at St Thomas' Hospital London) and has two sons, Jonathan (16) and Michael (12). He is a pianist, and music is one of his principal ways of relaxing.

For further information please contact:

Derek Williams
Diocesan Communications Officer
Tel: +44 1604 474799
Fax: +44 1604 474733
Mobile: + 447770 981172

Comments from Church Leaders

The Most Revd Dr George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury:

The announcement that Canon David Hamid is to be the next suffragan bishop in Europe will be eagerly welcomed both by the Diocese in Europe and by our ecumenical partners in and beyond the Continent. David Hamid's experience of the developing diversity of the Anglican Communion, coupled with his personal energy, will be a great asset to the Church of England's Continental chaplaincies in which a wide cross-section of Anglicans and other Christians is always found. He will be an encouragement to all who care about Anglican worship and witness in mainland Europe, as well as those who value the world-wide Church's impact on the life of the Church of England. David and his wife Colleen can be assured of my prayers and best wishes for their new ministry.

The Rt Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of the Diocese in Europe:

I am delighted that David Hamid has accepted the invitation to be my suffragan bishop, sharing ministry as bishops serving the Diocese in Europe. I know that he will bring to this new ministry considerable gifts of spirituality and pastoral care, ecumenical and international awareness, and care and clarity in administration.

I have been impressed in what I have seen of his work where we have collaborated in various international ecumenical settings. And I am sure that his warm personality, humour and Christian commitment will soon come to be appreciated across the wide extent of our unique diocese.

The Rt Revd Richard Chartres, Bishop of London:

David brings a rich experience of international and ecumenical affairs to his new post. I am delighted that he has accepted the invitation to serve the Diocese in Europe as suffragan bishop.

The Most Revd Michael Peers, Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada:

On behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada, and especially of former colleagues at Church House where David Hamid served nine years as Latin America and Caribbean co-ordinator, I congratulate the Church of England on their choice of the suffragan bishop of the Diocese in Europe.

David brings great personal gifts of spirituality, quickness of mind and capacity for friendship - not to mention familiarity with air travel! He has a remarkable talent for languages, and even more important, a capacity to translate across cultural as well as linguistic frontiers. I know that the Diocese and the whole Church of England will also hold Colleen, Jonathan and Michael in their prayers. For myself - pride, delight and affection are mingled in this greeting.

The Revd Dr Ishmael Noko, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation:

David has an impressive ecumenical knowledge and his facility with languages is a great advantage. His in-depth awareness of the life and canon law of the Anglican Communion, and his ability to preach with substance, are just two examples of gifts that will be assets to his new episcopal ministry.

The Lutheran World Federation has found in David a friend and rewarding colleague, with whom we look forward to working more closely on the opportunities that face us in Europe. I congratulate David on his new ministry, and the diocesan Bishop for his choice.

Dr Mary Tanner, distinguished ecumenist and teacher (former Moderator of the World Council of Churches and General Secretary of the Church of England's Council for Christian Unity):

David has been an outstanding ecumenical secretary for the Anglican Communion for the last six years and in that role he will be greatly missed by Anglicans throughout the Communion as well as by our ecumenical partners. His insights will be of immense value in his new role in Europe: insights that he will bring with the natural gifts of a pastor.

The Revd Canon John L Peterson, Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council:

For the last six years the Revd Canon David Hamid has served the Anglican Communion with distinction as the Director of Ecumenical Relations and Studies. In this unique ecumenical position David has seen first hand what Archbishop Desmond Tutu lovingly calls the "rainbow people of God".

In his new position as the suffragan bishop of the Diocese in Europe, David will bring to this ministry a breadth of experience as he works in the most culturally and ethically diverse diocese in the Anglican Communion. I am thrilled for David and for the Diocese in Europe.

Statement by the Revd Canon David Hamid, Suffragan Bishop-elect of the Diocese in Europe:

It is an honour to be appointed the Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese in Europe. The diocese is a great and distinctive family within our Anglican Communion, and I anticipate many enriching times ahead as I get to know her clergy and people.

Most of her chaplains and many members of the congregations come from outside Continental Europe. I pray that my own family's experience of moving across the Atlantic, as well as my past responsibilities in supporting those ministering in cross-cultural and sometimes isolating situations in Latin America and the Caribbean, may serve me well as I seek to provide pastoral encouragement to the chaplaincies.

One particular joy in accepting this appointment is knowing that I will be working alongside the diocesan Bishop, Dr Geoffrey Rowell. Bishop Geoffrey is someone I have known for a number of years now, and we have collaborated on several aspects of ecumenical work. It will be a privilege to work with such a wise and scholarly bishop of the Church.

The diocese holds a unique place in the Communion since within the continent she covers can be found the seat of many of the ancient Churches and national Churches with which Anglicans have long-standing relations. I believe that the diocese functions as the "front-door" or "shop-window" of Anglicanism to our partners from other Churches. One of the great gifts of the diocese to the rest of the Communion is the role her chaplains and people play in nurturing and developing warm ecumenical relations.

My own ecumenical work at the level of the Communion has already given me the opportunity to get to know and to work with some of the key leaders in other Christian traditions in Europe, among them Old Catholic, Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed and Baptist. I look forward to opportunities to translate the more formal and theological aspects of ecumenical dialogue into rich and fruitful relations among Christians in local situations.

I am aware that Europe is becoming an ever more complex region of the world and that this touches on our vocation as Christians. On the one hand, there seems to be a growing sense of identity as a region. At the same time there is a plurality of cultures, languages and peoples, and in places concern about the presence of outsiders.

The Church, as an agent of reconciliation, can play an important part in witnessing to the unity of all families, languages, peoples and nations in the reconciling love of Christ. I look forward with joy to sharing in this vocation and ministry in Europe.

I am grateful for prayers as I prepare for the consecration and subsequently take up the new responsibilities. Pray also for my family as we approach this time of transition.

David Hamid
18 July 2002