If religion is meant to heal the soul, then Peter Fenty has been a dedicated practitioner long before he was consecrated Bishop on June 22, 2013 in St. James Cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto.
While the occasion came with the responsibility as the bishop of York Simcoe, Fenty was also cemented in history, becoming the first Bishop of African descent within the Anglican Church of Canada.
Ordained to the priesthood in 1975, Bishop Fenty’s passion for pastoral ministry afforded him to serve with distinction in five parishes in the Dioceses of his native Barbados.
In 1992 he accepted an invitation to minister in Canada, assuming the role of rector at St. Lawrence Church in Montreal, a parish with a significant Caribbean population.
Five years later, he became the incumbent of St. Joseph of Nazareth in Brampton in the Diocese of Toronto. In 2003 he was appointed as the Executive Officer to the Bishop of Toronto, and Archdeacon of York where he laboured, learned, taught and grew for a decade.
A graduate of Codrington College and the University of the West Indies, Barbados and Huron College of the University of Western Ontario, Bishop Fenty holds: a Diploma in Theological Studies; Licentiate of Theology; Bachelor of Arts in History, Sociology and Theology; and a Master of Divinity with honours.
Though tasked with various ecumenical responsibilities, Bishop Fenty remains involved in the communities in which he ministers and is a strong advocate for social justice, human rights and ecumenism.
This is reflected in the many organizations, committees and boards on which he served. They include, Chair of the Partners in Mission Committee and the Anti-Racism Implementation Group of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Diocese of Toronto’s Social Justice and Advocacy Committee and the Multicultural Committee.
Bishop Fenty served on the Montreal Diocesan Council as deputy chair, as a member of the Diocese of Montreal’s Social Outreach Committee, and the No Longer Strangers Multicultural Committee. He was a member of the Board of the Black Community Council of Quebec, as well as on the Board of Management of the Montreal Diocesan Theological College.
As is now evident, this unassuming member of the clergy is no stranger to service. While in Barbados, Bishop Fenty served as Chaplain to the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill), the National Union of Public Workers, St. Gabriel’s Anglican School and Honorary Chaplain to the Barbados Defence Force.
Bishop Fenty was also the deputy chair of the Barbados Community College Board of Management 1989-1992. A skilled orator, he also hosted a radio talk show at two radio stations.
Bishop Fenty was a member of the International Afro-Anglican Co-coordinating Committee for the 2005 conference held in Toronto, and has been the recipient of various awards, including the Pride of Barbados Award and the 2013 Barbados Independence Award.
The epitome of excellence, Bishop Peter Fenty is the pride of his family, his church, his community and his people. His own words shed light into why he is held in such high regard. “I want to see our church become more missional in its thrust, and that’s what we’re already doing,” he says. “I want to affirm the lay leaders in our church, who do great work. I want to see the raising up of vocations, particularly those in what we call ethnic congregations.”
Bishop Fenty is supported in his ministry by his wife, Angela Allman-Fenty, who is an educator; their son, Andre, who holds a degree in Journalism and is married to Jacquelyn Norrish; and their daughter, Peta-Anne, who is an educator, holds a degree in French and is married to Mubarak Anashara.