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Dear Friends,

I ask for your prayers for the family of Bishop George Bruce who passed away March 22 at Kingston General Hospital.

Born in Ely, Cambridge England, Bishop George Bruce was educated at Woking County Grammar School in Surrey, before emigrating to Canada at the age of 16 in 1958. After continuing his education at the High School of Montreal, George enrolled at the Royal Military College of Canada, graduating with an Honours degree in History. He served in the Canadian Military as a staff officer with postings in both Canada (Command Headquarters and National Defence Headquarters) and the United Kingdom (British Ministry of Defence). He retired in 1986 as Director of Defense Intelligence with the rank of Colonel.

During his time in the Canadian Armed Forces, George began his theological training at the Montreal Diocesan College. Ordained to the diaconate in May of 1987 and priested in December of 1987, he served a number of parishes in the Diocese of Ottawa before coming to the Diocese of Ontario in 2000. He was appointed Rector of Kingston, Incumbent of St George's Cathedral and Dean of Ontario, where he served as Dean and Bishop's Commissary for two and a half years until his election as the Eleventh Bishop of Ontario in June of 2002.

For 9 years, Bishop George served as the Bishop of Ontario, leading our diocese through the first decade of the 21st Century, Bishop Bruce believed above all else that the role of a bishop was to encourage and foster the gifts of others in order that they could enrich their own ministries. Regarding his ministry as a bishop, George himself is quoted as saying:

“Much of the emphasis in my ministry is one of enabling others to be proclaimers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in both word and deed. I see this being accomplished in many ways, but particularly through community building, spiritual growth and programmes of adult Christian education such as Alpha and other teaching resources. Flowing from this is the reality that God’s command to us to reach out to and proclaim Christ, in the local and wider community must occupy a position of primacy in our vision of the church.”

Bishop George also strongly believed in ministry to children and young adults, developing programmes specifically geared to their needs. Much of his volunteer ministry outside his church life centered around youth, as a Cubmaster and Group Scout Leader in Ottawa, coaching youth soccer in both England and Canada and he led a number of youth group retreats. Bishop George was also chaplain to two church camps and led and administered several Vacation Bible School programmes.
Following his retirement as diocesan bishop, George served in interim ministry with a number of parishes in our diocese. He continued to be deeply involved at St. George’s Cathedral as an honourary associate and for many years led a Wednesday service at 12:15 pm in the Lady Chapel called ‘the Bishop’s Little Flock.'
Bishop George is predeceased by daughter Christina and daughter-in-law Margot. Survived by beloved wife Theo and children Chris, Andrew, Robbie, Krista, and grandchildren Cameron, Graeme, Chiara, Bella, William, Natalie and Caleb.

The funeral service is scheduled for Saturday April 6 at 11 am at St. George’s Cathedral. The guest preacher will be Bishop Victoria Matthews. Seats have been reserved in the nave for the clergy. The proper vesture for the day will be Cassock and Surplice or Alb with white stole. For bishops, Rochet & Chimere and white stole. Lay Readers of the Diocese are welcome to vest and join the procession and sit as a group as well.

A reception will follow the service. 

The service will be livestreamed from the St. George's Cathedral website:

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
- St. John 11.25-26

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom.
- Isaiah 40.11

O LORD Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who hast opened unto us the gate of ever-lasting life, and art the peace and light of those who rest in thee: In company with thy holy Apostles, Prophets, and Martyrs, and with all the faithful departed, we praise and glorify thee for the fulness of joy which thou givest to all who put their trust in thee; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.

Faithfully yours,
Bishop William G. Cliff
XIII Bishop of Ontario