Nicholas Dill elected Anglican Bishop

  • Photo by Akil Simmons
Rev Nicholas Dill, of St John’s Church, Pembroke has been elected Bishop of the Anglican Church in Bermuda, pending approval by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Rev Dill is shown in this photo participating in a neighbourhood walkabout in Pembroke in areas hit by gang violence.

    Photo by Akil Simmons Rev Nicholas Dill, of St John’s Church, Pembroke has been elected Bishop of the Anglican Church in Bermuda, pending approval by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Rev Dill is shown in this photo participating in a neighbourhood walkabout in Pembroke in areas hit by gang violence.


The Island’s Anglican community has elected Nicholas Dill as its new Bishop after a closely-fought election against Archdeacon Andrew Doughty.

Votes were cast by 44 members of the Synod in three closely-fought rounds of ballots on Saturday.

Bishop-elect Dill said the election was “very close,” adding: “I have to confess a degree of surprise. I did pray God’s will would be done and that he would speak through his holy spirit to the people who were there.”

He went on to say: “It’s not about me and wanting the position for its own sake, but about the Church and what people are looking forward to to build the future.”

David Cooper, the Commissary appointed to conduct the election explained: “In order to be elected, it is necessary that a candidate obtain a majority of both the House of Clergy [the clergy here in Bermuda] and the House of Laity [i.e. persons appointed by the various parishes who are lay members of their parish church]. The total electorate was 12 in the House of Clergy and 32 in the House of Laity.

“On the first ballot there were six votes for Reverend Nicholas Dill and five votes for Archdeacon Andrew Doughty with one abstention in the House of Clergy. The House of Laity gave 17 votes to the Archdeacon and 15 votes to Reverend Dill. Thus there was no majority in the House of Clergy and no majority in both for one candidate.

“On the second ballot the votes were 7/5 Dill/ Doughty [Clergy] and 16/16 (Laity). Under the constitution, the then candidate with the most votes was put to the electorate on a third ballot. In this third ballot, Reverend Dill received eight Clergy votes and 20 Laity votes which represented the requisite majority in both Houses.

“I will now be notifying the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury of the result of the election, seeking confirmation of the appointment of Reverend Nicholas Dill as the next Bishop of Bermuda.”

Rev Dill is the third Bermudian to be elected as Bishop following his predecessors Ewen Ratteray and Patrick White, who retired in September. He is a 49-year-old father of six who is married to Fiona.

He served prior to the election as head Minister for the Parish of Pembroke, and said he feels “extremely sad” about leaving the parish.

During public meetings prior to the election, Rev Dill said the Anglican Church comes with “historical baggage”, and can be seen as “staid and out of touch”.

“Whoever takes the position needs to be somebody with the ability to unite people, with a specific focus on reaching the youth,” he said.

Dispensing with the church’s historical associations requires engaging strongly with the community, he added — providing a voice for those who have none, and providing spiritual counsel to the Island’s leaders.

“Perhaps one problem is that the church has not grown with the times, as the Anglican church has in other parts of the world,” he noted, considering the “vibrant congregations” in Africa and the Far East, versus the decline in numbers felt in Western communities.

Rev Dill expressed his support for women in the ministry, but said he voted against women being ordained because he didn’t approve of the way the vote was handled, only appearing on the agenda days before the vote was to take place.

Regarding homosexuality, Rev Dill said the issue is one that needs to be dealt with by the church in a careful manner. “It will require a time of listening and prayer,” he said. “Every one of us know, are related to and love people who are gay or lesbian.”

He noted the frequency of children being born outside of marriage and the frequency of divorce on the Island, saying: “We need to look at all of these things and do it together in the atmosphere of respect. I want to have that discussion. It has to happen and if I am elected Bishop, it will happen soon.”

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Published Feb 4, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm)

Nicholas Dill elected Anglican Bishop

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