The Diocese of Olympia is pleased to announce that, effective March 1, 2021, Bishop Melissa Skelton will be joining diocesan staff as an Assisting Bishop after retiring as Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and Yukon and Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster. Bishop Skelton will be serving on a per diem basis, meaning she will be remunerated on a case-by-case basis. Bishop Skelton will be available for visitations and will be assigned by Bishop Rickel, from time to time, to represent the diocese in official capacities.
When asked about Bishop Skelton joining diocesan staff as an Assisting Bishop, Bishop Rickel said, “I cannot tell you how excited I am to have Bishop Skelton back here in Olympia, and I hope everyone realizes how fortunate and blessed we are to receive this gift. My service as your bishop began with Melissa on our team and I was so blessed to have her expertise during those first years. I am so very excited that she will be ‘on the team’ again as I round out my last ones.”
Prior to her election as bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster, Bishop Skelton served here in the Diocese of Olympia as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Seattle and Canon for Congregational Development. During this time, Bishop Skelton developed and launched our College for Congregational Development, which continues to this day and has spread to diocese across the United States and into Canada. Bishop Skelton was elected 9th Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster in 2013, and in 2018, she was elected Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and Yukon, making her the first woman in the Anglican Church of Canada to hold the position.
When asked about moving back to the Diocese of Olympia after retirement, Bishop Skelton said, “I’m delighted to be able to serve as an Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of Olympia, the diocese I served in before being elected bishop in New Westminster. Serving in this way will enable me to support the ministry of Bishop Greg Rickel with a special emphasis on congregational development and on cultivating relationships with Indigenous Peoples in the Diocese of Olympia.”
Please join us in welcoming Bishop Skelton to the diocese when she joins us on March 1.