Canon Stackhouse renewed college

The Anglican
 on February 1, 2017

Theologian wrote books, served in parliament

The Rev. Canon Dr. Reginald Stackhouse, former principal of Wycliffe College, theologian, author and parliamentarian, died in Toronto on Dec. 14 at the age of 91.

“The spirit at Wycliffe today is a mix of both sadness and gratitude,” said Bishop Stephen Andrews, Wycliffe’s current principal, in a statement on the college’s website on Dec. 14. “Sadness that we have lost the architect of the modern college and Wycliffe’s most ardent supporter. And I am personally sad, as I have lost my former principal and a valued mentor. But we are grateful for his legacy which lives on, a legacy of a deep and reasoned faith anchored in the hope of the Risen One.”

Born in Toronto, Canon Stackhouse was educated at the University of Toronto, Wycliffe College and Yale University. He was ordained a priest in 1950 and served at St. Matthew, Islington and then St. John, West Toronto before moving with his young family to Yale, where he earned his Ph.D. in historical theology. He returned to Toronto to pursue an academic career at Wycliffe, eventually becoming principal from 1975 to 1986. He continued teaching until 2014.

“Reg’s ministry at Wycliffe was all about renewal,” said Bishop Peter Mason, Wycliffe’s seventh principal, in the college’s statement. “Renewal of the faculty, of the board of trustees and of the bricks and mortar on Hoskin Avenue. Today, hundreds of former students, colleagues and friends give thanks to God whom Reg served so faithfully.”

A devoted public servant, Canon Stackhouse served as trustee and vice-chairman of the Scarborough Board of Education, and founding chairman of Centennial College, Ontario’s first community college. He served in the House of Commons from 1972-74 and from 1984-88.

A member of the Order of Ontario, he authored 10 books, including The God Nobody Knows, The Way Forward: A History of Wycliffe College, Toronto, 1877 – 2002 and The Coming Age Revolution.

According to the college’s statement, Canon Stackhouse was always concerned with the carrying of the Word into the world and would personally furnish Wycliffe graduates each year with a Bible to remind them of their vocation and charge. The Stackhouse Scholarship, which he began, provides bursary support for students called to ordained ministry.

Canon Stackhouse was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Margaret. He is survived by his four children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His funeral was held at Wycliffe College on Dec. 19.


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