By Norman De Bono
Right Reverend Dr. Robert Todd Townshend is hoping to bring an environmental focus and action on climate change to Anglican churches across its Southwestern Ontario diocese.
Townshend was ordained Bishop of the Huron Diocese on Saturday afternoon, drawing about 1,000 people to St. Paul’s Cathedral on Richmond Street in downntown London.
After the ordination, Townshend reflected on the global climate change crisis and how faith can serve as a call to action, he said.
“The environmental movement has revived the biblical idea of us as stewards of the Earth, which is in every major religion because God is the creator,” Townshend said.
“I consider it an emergency,” he said of climate change. “If we call something a crisis for too long it is not considered urgent, but this is the most urgent thing.”
The Huron Diocese has always shown the ability to adapt and change as times demand and the push for greater environmental action may mark his tenure, he added.
“It will take a big movement of people, of political will. It’s crucial.”
Townshend becomes the 14th Bishop, succeeding Linda Nicholls, who was elected the head of the Anglican Church of Canada in July.
Townshend was dean of the faculty of theology at Western University’s Huron University College. He became a priest in 1992 and served as a priest in different parishes in the Huron Diocese.
He was also associate professor of contextual theology at Huron University College from 2011 to 2013. He was appointed dean in 2013.
The Diocese of Huron stretches from Windsor to Port Rowan and as far north as Tobermory and has more than 150 churches.
About the author - Norman De Bono is a news reporter at the London Free Press
The London Free Press via Anglican Journal, January 27, 2020