(Below letter, info and links from Requiem Eucharists and on memorial gifts)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
I write with sad news. Our dear friend and bishop, The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley, 12th Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut died peacefully at his home in Deering, New Hampshire early this morning. Bishop Walmsley had been struggling with a bad case of pneumonia for the last few weeks. He had recently returned home from the hospital and was being cared for by his loving wife and companion in ministry, Roberta. He was 89 years old.
Arthur was a visionary and passionate Christian leader. He was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut while Rector of St. Paul's in New Haven and served in that role from 1979-1981 before becoming Bishop Diocesan from 1981-1993. As Bishop, Arthur helped the Episcopal Church in Connecticut move forward in new ways in God's mission, particularly in the areas of: social justice, urban ministry, care for individuals living with HIV-AIDS, refugee and immigrant services, and racial reconciliation. His love for Camp Washington and fund-raising efforts advanced the ministry of Transfiguration Lodge at Camp. And it was his vision that led Church Home of Hartford to become Seabury retirement community in Bloomfield. Arthur, together with Roberta, cared deeply for the clergy and their families in Connecticut as pastor and counselor.
Arthur will be remembered, not only for his profound and far-reaching ministry in Connecticut, but also for his work in ecumenical affairs, social justice, and racial reconciliation in a variety of positions including in the Department of Social Relations at the Episcopal Church Center in New York and as Director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. After resigning as Bishop Diocesan, Arthur had a far reaching vocation as a spiritual director for lay people and clergy alike, as Episcopal Visitor to the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, MA, and co-founder of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation.
At Arthur's request and direction, there will be memorial services in both New Hampshire and at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford. Plans are currently underway and I will inform you of dates and details as soon as they have been finalized. Please keep Roberta and their children Elizabeth and John in your thoughts and prayers at this time of loss.
May Arthur's soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
A Requiem Eucharist for the life of the Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley was held at St. Paul's Church, 21 Centre Street, Concord, NH on October 14, 2017 beginning at 10 a.m., the Rt. Rev. Thomas Ely, presiding and the Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, preaching. A reception followed.
A Requiem Eucharist was also held at Christ Church Cathedral, 45 Church Street, Hartford, CT on Friday, October 27, 2017 beginning at 10:30 a.m., the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, presiding and the Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, preaching. A reception followed.
The service at Christ Church Cathedral brought many friends and former co-workers from around the state. The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold III, 25th presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, retired, gave the homily. Bishop Walmsley had prepared for his eventual funeral and burial, and he included a greeting on the inside front cover of the service bulletin. It read, "Remember, sisters and brothers, that we continue always in God's love, and everything which happens on this occasion must be seen in that light. Those who have known me realize how much my life has been a lover's quarrel with this world, often with the Church, sometimes with one or all of you. The lessons and hymns declare that our life in faith is both a restless search and a confident journey."
Link to some photos taken at that service, and reception, here.
Gifts in thanksgiving for the life and ministry of Bishop Walmsley may be made to the following:
Episcopal Service Corps of the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire - Checks should be made out to the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, 63 Green Street, Concord, NH 03301 with "Assisi Program" in the memo line.
Camp Washington - Checks should be made out to the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, The Commons, 290 Pratt Street, Meriden, CT 06450 with "Camp Washington/Walmsley Memorial" in the memo line.
Committal service and burial to follow at a later date and place.