Our Bishop

A quiet, humble and reserved man, Rev. John's style of leadership is to blend life experiences with knowledge, understanding and his love of God. 

The Rt. Rev. John Watton was called to ministry at age 25 and now, more than 30 years later, is the spiritual heart of the Anglican Diocese of Central Newfoundland. 

from congregation to community

Though born in Manitoba in 1959, Rev. John considers Change Islands his ancestral home. He grew up in Glenwood and went to high school in Gander where he now lives with his wife, Karen, and their four children. Rev. John loves motorcycles, has a passion for classic guitar and has a secret dream of one day going into outer space.

More About The Rt. Rev. John Watton

John came from a broken home, and at age 13, lived alone on the streets of St. John's. In 1969, he moved to Glenwood and finished high school there before moving to Ontario.  He was married and working as a journeyman mechanic when, at age 25, his life turned in a whole different direction. With four children, John found himself back home, at Queen's College, where he studied theology and entered the priesthood.

During his earlier life, Rev John had experienced a lot of woundedness and hurt. But as a Christian, he found that his relationship with other Christians and the whole spiritual experience afforded him a great sense of healing. An experience he felt compelled to share with others -

and that’s the reason he answered God's call to ministry.

John became a deacon in Lewisporte and then was ordained as a priest in Grand Bank in 1990.  The Parish of Fortune-Lamaline became the first parish in which he would serve. When Rev John moved to St. Martin's in Gander, he took that church from its lowest point, to being one of the fastest growing churches in Atlantic Canada. Rev John lead St. Martin’s from being a congregation, to being a community - a very welcoming community.

After being in Gander seven and a half years, John was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in his tongue, throat and lymph nodes. To cope with his illness, and to keep people informed, Rev John wrote a blog about his cancer journey. His philosophy was,

"If you’re going to be true to your church, and say,
"We’re going to be a community, not a congregation",
as a leader, I had to be open to people"...
                                                The Rt. Rev. John Watton

He wanted to present a positive message to others with this disease and it had to be an honest message. If he was having a bad day, people knew about it. If he was scared, they knew, and if he was angry, he told them that too. Parishes across the province were presenting his message to cancer sufferers who didn’t have access to the Internet so they could know that they were not alone.

The Cancer Treatments were HARD

If he'd had surgery, Rev John would have lost the ability to speak, so he began treatments ...and they were HARD. The treatments had to be aggressive in order to avoid surgery. He also had chemo and radiation in St. John’s. It almost took his life.

But God Is Good - and the treatments worked!!

The chemo reduced the tumour enough so that the radiation was able to kill the cancer. However, it came at a cost - Rev John had to learn to talk all over again. But Thanks Be To God, He did just that!! And friends, this is the man who now stands before you as your new Bishop-Elect.

Rev John Watton is a man of truth, a man of determination, a man of deep humility, a man of Great Faith. Remember the words from Philippians 4:13

"We can do all things through Him who gives us strength".

(Rev. John finished the cancer treatments in October 2014)

Source:  Ven. Terry Caines
Jun-Sep 2016 Anglican Parish of Burin Newsletter

The Bishop Writes

Coffee with … Rev. John Watton

Click here to read Gander Beacon's article on Rev. John Watton (by Terry Saunders, published July 2012)

Morning Prayer

It is a joy Lord in the morning to be held by your Spirit

to be listened to...
to be given the encouragement and direction for the day.

By your Grace, may the outward flow of our energy be transformed by Love, into love.

The Rt. Rev. John Watton