RIP: Arthur E. Walmsley, 12th bishop of Connecticut

Posted Oct 6, 2017

[Episcopal News Service] 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 Oct. 5.

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.

Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas called Walmsley “a visionary and passionate Christian leader.”

Walmsley 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 to 1981 before becoming bishop diocesan in 1981. He retired in 1993.

Walmsley helped the Episcopal Church in Connecticut move forward in new ways in God’s mission, particularly in these areas: social justice, urban ministry, care for individuals living with HIV-AIDS, refugee and immigrant services, and racial reconciliation, Douglas said.

“His love for Camp Washington and fundraising efforts advanced the ministry of Transfiguration Lodge,” Douglas wrote in an email to the diocese. “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.”

Walmsley 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,” according to Douglas. Walmsley’s work occurred in a variety of positions, including in what was then 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, Walmsley had a vocation as a spiritual director for lay people and clergy alike, as episcopal visitor to the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and co-founder of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation.

At his request and direction, there will be memorial services in both New Hampshire and at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford. Dates and details will be announced.

Walmsley is survived by his wife, Roberta, and their children, Elizabeth and John.


Comments (4)

  1. Jim Dannals says:

    Carolyn and I give thanks for Arthur’s life and ministry and send our love to Roberta.

  2. Joan Jennings Scalfani says:

    I am saddened to hear of the death of Bishop Walmsley. I had the good fortune of getting to know him & working with him while I served as director of All Saint’s Conference Center in the early ’90’s.
    He was kind, generous, caring and brilliant, and I am a better person for having known him.

  3. Phillip Ayers says:

    Arthur was a wonderful colleague, and an understanding and wise Bishop of Connecticut where I served for 14 great years. I shall miss him! Condolences to Roberta and their family.

  4. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas says:

    I have warm memories of Arthur and I am grateful both for his visionary leadership on social justice issues and for his dedication to the inner life of prayer and spiritual growth. God bless you, Arthur. I send my sympathy and condolences to Roberta and their family.

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