The Diocese of New Westminster has elected the Rev. Canon Melissa Skelton of Seattle as its ninth bishop. Canon Skelton led the eight-member slate from the first ballot.
Four nominees — the Rev. Canon Dawn Davis, the Ven. Ellen Clark-King, the Rev. Richard Leggett, and the Ven. John Stephens — withdrew from the slate after the second ballot.
The Rt. Rev. Gregory Rickel, Bishop of Olympia, congratulated Skelton on his weblog. Skelton is director of New Westminster’s Diocesan School for Leadership and the Diocese of Olympia’s College for Congregational Development. She is Olympia’s canon for congregational development and leadership and rector of St. Paul’s Church in Seattle.
“I believe the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, did a very good thing today,” Rickel wrote.
“As I said in my notice of this election this past week, we will win either way, but it is certainly a decision with mixed emotions here in Olympia. Melissa has blessed us with her many skills in so many tremendous ways. We are much richer for her presence with us over these years. I cannot envision my Episcopate without her. I hope you will join me in congratulating her, while also holding in our prayers, our diocese, the Diocese of New Westminster, the people of St. Paul’s, Queen Anne, and of course, Melissa in this time of transition.”
Image: Canon Skelton addresses the Diocese of New Westminster’s Special Synod in 2012. • Courtesy Diocese of New Westminster.