Synod Celebration of the Ministry of the Rt. Rev. Brian Marsh
By Rev. Brad Mathias and Rev. Matthew Mirabile
The Diocese of the Northeast held their annual Synod in historic Charlestown NH. October 19-22, 2022. But this synod was unlike the rest. It was a celebration of the long, esteemed ministry of the Right Reverend Brian Marsh.
Multiple visiting dignitaries came to honor and recognize the retiring Diocesan Bishop, The Most Rev. Brian Marsh during the week long annual gathering. The special synod was attended by the the Rt. Rev. Shane Janzen, Primate of the Traditional Anglican Church and Metropolitan of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, and Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of Canada West. Also in attendance were the current presiding bishop of the Anglican Church of America, the Archbishop Juan Garcia; the Right Reverend William Bower, Bishop of the Diocese of the MidAtlantic; and the Right Reverend Alexander Webb, Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of the Northeast. During this annual gathering over 80 Clergy, Lay Leaders, and Bishops meet as multiple groups and administrative bodies conducted their vital business. These included the house of Bishops, Clericus, and Diocese of the Northeast Business meetings which were celebrated and attended by designated representatives of the various parishes in the DNE.
Bishop Marsh was consecrated to the episcopal ministry December 9, 2006 and was made Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Northeast in 2009. He was elected Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in America 2011, retiring from that positing in 2020. His term as bishop ordinary ends at the end of 2022. Bishop Marsh's ecumenical efforts were instrumental in the Joint Anglican Synod and concordat signed at the Joint Synod on October 6th, in 2017, established full communion among the Churches, known as “communio in sacris.”
The synod was a joyous event, both to celebrate Bishop Brian's ministry, but also because the Pontifical Masses were held in the lovely and newly renovated Saint Luke's Mission. The church was recently purchased privately and was gifted to the diocese. In addition to honoring outgoing DNE Bishop Brian Marsh, the House of Bishops consecrated and celebrated the opening of St. Luke's Mission in Charlestown as well as the setting apart of Deaconess Hogan.
Each day of the week was focused on specific parts of the DNE and it's importance to the whole work of God in our time and geography. Special emphasis was made to highlight the contribution of St Luke's Mission Theater to the arts with a original play written and directed by outgoing Bishop Brian Marsh (After Damascus) and an original musical play (The Serpent in the Desert) written by Carol Clark and Philip Turner and directed by Mr. Carlos Martinez, music director for Trinity Anglican Church in Rochester, NH. Both were professionally written, arranged, and performed. Edited video clips will be available for viewing on their diocesan website.
Bishop Marsh will continue as bishop Emeritus and Rector of St. Luke's/Good Shepherd in Charlestown. His gentle pastoral care and love will be missed by the clergy that served under his leadership.
The Rt. Rev. Alexander (Hendy) Webb will become bishop Ordinary January 1st, 2023. The clergy of that diocese look forward to new initiatives for the future under Bishop Webb.