Archdeacon John Meade, coadjutor bishop-elect of the diocese of Western Newfoundland, died early in the morning of November 29, 2017. He was 45.
Meade had been in the hospital throughout the summer, but “faced his deteriorating medical situation with a calm faith,” according to a statement posted by the ecclesiastical province of Canada on its Facebook page.
Western Newfoundland Bishop Percy Coffin described Meade as “a dedicated man,” saying he “certainly was a dedicated person to his task—unwavering, unfaltering. He was just so committed.”
It was “a great sadness” that Meade was never consecrated as bishop, Coffin said. “He offered much, and there was a promising future for him.”
Meade, who was elected at a diocesan synod held in June 2017, was to have succeeded Coffin, who will retire at the end of December. “At this point, we need to honour John and grieve his passing adequately by refraining from any talk about the diocese…In the fullness of time that will be all be dealt with,” Coffin said when asked who will lead the diocese after his retirement.
The date of Meade’s consecration was originally set to be All Saints’ Day, November 1. Meade fell ill and was admitted to the hospital in early July.
In an interview with the Anglican Journal shortly after his election, Meade shared his history of struggling with Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory disorder that he was diagnosed with at age 12, which at the time of the interview was in remission.
In the same interview, Meade said he was “very humbled” to be chosen to lead the diocese, and expressed a passion for a collaborative approach to leadership: “Being one with the folks and building up the congregations right from the pew on upwards, as opposed to the synod on downwards…that is how I see things, and that is really just a continuation of a ministry I have observed and been a full participant in.”
Coffin recalled that when asked a few days previously how he dealt with his circumstances, Meade had cited the love of his family, friendship and fellowship of his colleagues, and his faith, particularly the leading of the Holy Spirit. “That was pretty remarkable, and that’s how he left this world,” said Coffin.
Raised in Western Newfoundland, Meade attended Memorial University and Queen’s College, receiving his MDiv in 1998. He served in various parishes in Western Newfoundland and, for three years, in the diocese of Central Newfoundland, before becoming executive archdeacon and assistant to the bishop of Western Newfoundland in 2013.
Meade is survived by his wife of 15 years, Kelly. The funeral will take place at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Corner Brook on Friday, 1 December, at 2 p.m. Flowers are welcome and donations can be made to the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist or to the Renal Dialysis Unit at Western Memorial Regional Hospital in his memory.