The United Church of Canada grieves the death of the Very Rev. Dr. William Phipps, the denomination’s 36th Moderator, who faithfully served in this role from 1997 to 2000. Rev. Phipps died on March 4, 2022. A fierce champion for economic and ecological justice, Rev. Phipps was originally trained as a lawyer before becoming an ordained minister.
During his time as Moderator, he hosted a consultation on Faith and the Economy, traveling across Canada, listening to people from all walks of life. In October 1998, speaking on behalf of the whole church, Rev. Phipps apologized for the denomination’s role in Indian Residential Schools saying in part, “we pray that you will hear the sincerity of our words today and that you will witness the living out of our apology in our actions in the future.”
After his tenure as Moderator, Rev. Phipps served in ministry leadership, retiring in June 2007 from Scarboro United Church in Calgary. He continued as a strong advocate for Indigenous rights, peace, justice, and ecological integrity, with many commitments including Faith and the Common Good and The Parkland Institute.
The church across the country offers our deepest condolences to his partner Carolyn, his family, his friends, and the community of Hillhurst United where he was a member. An online funeral will be hosted by Hillhurst United on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. MST.