On November 8, 2014, Robert Stuart Skirving was ordained and consecrated as the Eighth Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina. Rob was born on August 28, 1960 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in 1982, with a focus in philosophy, and followed these studies with a Master of Divinity degree from Huron University College, London, Ontario, in 1986. This included a 2-year field placement at St. George’s Anglican Church and a yearlong residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at University Hospital in London, Ontario. He was ordained to the diaconate on May 1, 1986 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, Ontario, and to the priesthood on December 17, 1986, at St. James Westminster Church, London, Ontario, by Bishop Derwyn Dixon Jones, Bishop of Huron. Two years as Assistant Curate at Church of St. John the Evangelist, London, Ontario, with particular responsibility for youth ministry followed. In 1988, Rob assumed pastoral leadership of 3 small congregations in rural SE Kent County, Ontario, as Rector of Advent, Redeemer, and Trinity Churches, Ridgetown. He worked to strengthen the collaborative ministry of these congregations until the end of 1991. During this time, he also completed graduate level coursework in Religious Studies at the University of Windsor, Ontario, and the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.
In 1992, he became Rector of St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Brantford, Ontario, a large program-sized church, expanding the physical facilities to accommodate the growing congregation and addressing staff and pastoral demands. Diocesan roles included Executive Council and budgeting and youth committees. In 1998, he completed the course work for the Doctor of Ministry Degree from Seabury Institute, Evanston, Illinois, and was later awarded an Advanced Theological Certificate in Congregational Development.
From 1999-2004, Rob was Rector of Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario, a downtown church dedicated to liturgical innovation and community ministry, with responsibility of a preschool, seniors’ housing center, active street ministry, and support of a Sudanese refugee community.
From 2005-2014, Rob was Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Midland, Michigan, being received into The Episcopal Church by the Rt. Rev. Ed Leidel, Bishop of Eastern Michigan. Along with leading regular congregational ministry, Rob supported St. John’s in extensive local and global outreach ministries, including a partnership with the Episcopal Church in the Dominican Republic to build a new church in San Isidro. Rob served as Deputy to General Convention (2012), as Dean of the Diocese (2011-2013), as Dean of the Saginaw Valley Convocation, as chair of the Commission on Ministry (2005-2007), and as a participant in the Diocesan Review Task Force (2008-2011). Rob served on the Province V Executive Board, as a representative of the Diocese of Eastern Michigan, and briefly on the House of Deputies State of Church Committee.
He and his wife, Sandy, have two grown children, Cate and Matt.