The Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador has elected The Venerable Samuel Rose to be the sixth bishop of their diocese. Upheld by prayers from across the diocese and beyond, the four nominees gathered at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in St. John’s on November 28th as the members of Synod connected via the internet. Due to the public heath restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was a synod like no other before in Newfoundland and Labrador—most delegates stayed in their homes and connected via Zoom with each other; they were also able to attend the opening Eucharist on the night before Synod via the Cathedral’s YouTube channel.
The votes themselves were cast using the company Data on the Spot, so all of the delegates, no matter where they were in the province, were able to vote quickly and efficiently. The votes were counted by the independent company, and results were very quick once voting for each ballot closed. Rose was elected on the fourth ballot.
Synod was overseen by Bishop John Watton of the Diocese of Central Newfoundland, and he also celebrated the Eucharist at the cathedral on the night before the election. Bishop Watton, as the most senior bishop in Newfoundland and Labrador, was asked to be in charge of the electoral synod. Further pandemic restrictions cancelled the Atlantic bubble earlier that week, making it impossible for the Metropolitan, Archbishop David Edwards of Fredericton Diocese, to attend Eastern NL’s synod in person.
Rose was born and baptized on Bell Island, and has spent his whole life in the Anglican Church of Canada. He has served in parishes in Eastern Newfoundland, Central Newfoundland, and in Labrador. For several years, he was the editor of Anglican Life, and most recently has held the position of Episcopal Commissary in his home diocese.
The date has been set for the consecration of the bishop-elect, and will take place on December 15th. Again, Bishop Watton will be called in due to the forced absence of Archbishop Edwards, and will be the ordaining bishop.
The day after his election, Bishop-elect Rose reached out via his YouTube page with a message for the diocese. He said, “Our God is always renewing the Church, in order to shape us more into the image of Jesus.” Rose acknowledged the fear that comes with the uncertainly of change, but assured the diocese that we move into this new beginning together with God and with each other.