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Bishop-elect John Meade to be remembered with scholarship

Posted on: April 5, 2018 3:06 PM
A portrait of Bishop-elect John Meade was dedicated and placed in St Paul’s Anglican Church, Grand Bay at a ceremony 18 March. Among those in attendance were (l-r) the Revd Harold Harvey, rector of St Paul’s; Denise Francis, Meade’s sister; and Helen Meade, his mother
Photo Credit: Anglican Journal

[Anglican Journal, by Tali Folkins] The home church of John Meade, who died last November, months after being elected coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Western Newfoundland, has set up an annual scholarship to honour his memory.Starting December 2018, the Bishop-Elect John Meade Scholarship will be awarded to one student per year at St James Regional High School in Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Revd Harold Harvey, rector of St Paul’s Anglican Church in nearby Grand Bay, said. 

The $250 [CAD, approximately £140 GBP] scholarship will go to a student, chosen by teachers, “who most reflects the gospel message of service and compassion,” according to a news release from Grand Bay Parish, which includes St Paul’s as well as two other churches in Cape Ray and Codroy.

Harvey said he was very happy with the scholarship as a way of memorialising Meade.“John had great courage - in all the time he’d been sick, he never spoke about it, never complained about it,” he said. “John also had a lot of compassion - a great deal of compassion for people who were in need. I think that came out of his own suffering.”

Meade struggled for much of his life with Crohn’s disease, which causes inflammation of the digestive tract. He was first diagnosed at 12, and a flare-up when he was a young man almost caused him to drop out of his university studies, Harvey said. But Meade pushed on and eventually finished his bachelor’s degree as well as a master of divinity degree. He was ordained a priest in 1998, and became executive archdeacon and assistant to the bishop of Western Newfoundland in 2013.

Meade was elected coadjutor bishop last June, but his health deteriorated over the summer; he was supposed to have been consecrated as the diocese’s new bishop on 1 November 2017, but was too ill by then. He died on 29 November, aged 45.

Harvey said he had suggested the idea of a scholarship from St Paul’s for local high school students some time ago. But after Meade’s death, the idea was reborn by St Paul’s vestry, which unanimously approved a scholarship to be named after Meade rather than the church.

The money from the scholarship will come from designated funds within the church’s memorial fund, set up for parishioners wishing to donate money to the church in memory of loved ones who have died, said the Revd Effie Organ, deacon at St Paul’s.

St Paul’s also held, on 18 March, a service that included the placement of Meade’s portrait in the church as a memorial to him. Meade grew up going to St Paul’s. For many in the congregation, who had been unable to attend Meade’s memorial service in Corner Brook, the event served as an important way to commemorate his life.

“It took on kind of an atmosphere of its own, and to me it was a memorial service, and a remembering,” Harvey said. “Many people were teared up . . . and I think it was a very healing time for people.”

Harvey, who knew Meade personally, said he’s also very happy to have his portrait on the wall of the church.“John needed to be present somehow,” he said. “I just think it’s great that every morning I go in and I see him in the church. Keeping an eye on me.”

This story was originally published on the Anglican Journal