"We find our true nature when we locate God's love within us and allow ourselves to be guided by it in all we endeavour to do. To grasp this, however tentatively, is to receive a sense of hope and purpose that is alluring, affirming and life-changing."
The Right Reverend Dr. Shane Alexander Donaldson Parker was born to Irish parents in Edmonton, Alberta, and lived in western Canada during his childhood. He worked as a labourer for several years before undergraduate and graduate studies in sociology at Carleton University, and was a professional sociologist prior to studies in theology at Saint Paul University. He was ordained priest in the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa in 1987 and was appointed Dean of Ottawa and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral in 1999. Prior to his appointment as dean, he served as a parish priest and as the diocesan archdeacon. On March 14, 2020, he was elected to be the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Ottawa, and was consecrated and seated on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020.
Bishop Parker’s leadership of Christ Church Cathedral during his 20 year tenure as dean was characterized by major change and renaissance in all aspects of its life and ministry, including the extensive development of its property. This had the effect of opening up the Cathedral to become a truly diverse and vibrant parish—with strong ministries of worship, music, pastoral care, spiritual development, fellowship, and many mission partnerships.
He has served as a part-time professor of pastoral ministry and sociology at Saint Paul University and currently chairs its Anglican Studies Advisory Committee. Between 2005 and 2020 he was a member of Carleton University's Research Ethics Board. Following a long period of writing for the Ottawa Citizen’s Ask the Religion Experts column, a collection of his insightful essays were published by Novalis in a book called Answering the Big Questions. In 2010 Bishop Shane was the recipient of the Interfaith Ottawa Award, presented by the Mayor of the City of Ottawa, for devoted service to promoting interfaith dialogue and cooperation.
He is well-known in the wider community through participation in a number of organizations and causes, and by continuing a long tradition of making the Cathedral available for many different kinds of civic and ecclesial events. Since the release of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015, he has actively encouraged the church to offer and host events to educate, inform and challenge the community concerning the TRC Calls to Action, and to build new and meaningful relationships with Indigenous Peoples, especially with the local Algonquin Nation. In 2018 he appointed Albert Dumont to be Algonquin Spiritual Teacher in Residence at the Cathedral.
Bishop Shane has trained in mediation and reconciliation, and is an associate member of the Ontario Association of Family Mediators. He has established close connections with Coventry Cathedral (UK) and its ministry of reconciliation known as the Community of the Cross of Nails, an international peace and reconciliation network; and with Saint George’s Anglican Cathedral in Jerusalem, which is deeply committed to interfaith dialogue, peace, and reconciliation. He is the president of the Community of the Cross of Nails: Canada (the Canadian branch of Coventry’s network).
He has been invited to speak about reconciliation on a number of occasions, including the historic “Road to Warm Springs” National Consultation on Indigenous Anglican Self-Determination in 2017; and at the first Community of the Cross of Nails/Together for Hope interfaith pilgrimage in Coventry Cathedral in 2019.
In May 2022, Bishop Shane was awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa of Saint Paul University, Ottawa.
Bishop Shane is married to Katherine Shadbolt, who practices family law. He has two sons, a daughter, and three grandchildren.
Click here to read Answering the Big Questions.