Clergy Leadership

Incumbent – The Venerable Rhonda Waters

Rhonda has served at Incumbent of St. Helen’s Anglican Church and Archdeacon of East Ontario since August 2022. 

Rhonda was raised in rural Alberta and still thinks that the prairie is the most beautiful place on earth.  Even so, she left Alberta to go to McGill University in Montreal and Ottawa is the furthest west she has lived since.

She holds a B.A. in Anthropology, graduate diplomas in Community Economic Development and in Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership, a Master of Divinity, and is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Ministry program at Virginia Theological Seminary.

Rhonda was ordained in the Diocese of Montreal and served at Christ Church Cathedral before coming to Ottawa in 2016 where she served at St. Matthew’s Church in the Glebe and Church of the Ascension in Old Ottawa East.

Rhonda loves many things about being a priest but she especially loves Bible study, preaching, and helping people identify and use the gifts God has given them to build up the community, both within and beyond the walls of the church.  She is a member of the Spiritual Formation Network of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Rhonda writes a weekly e-newsletter, The Story at Home, offering activities and guided reflections on a Bible reading for the upcoming Sunday as well as sharing some of the fruits of her doctoral studies (you can sign up here). She is a co-editor of To Love and Serve: Anglican Beliefs and Practices, published by Forward Movement in 2022.

In her free time, Rhonda enjoys board games, fiction (books, TV, movies, theatre), travel, and just hanging out with her husband, Thomas, and their teenage son.

Assistant Curate – The Reverend John Holgate 

John has served as Assistant Curate of St. Helen’s Anglican Church since January 1, 2023.

Raised in Dorval, on the West Island of Montreal, John still enjoys seeing the sights in the lively downtown area there. Prior to ordination, John had a long career in the software industry, working as a writer and manager in the field of information development in Ottawa at Cognos, IBM, and Privacy Analytics.

John holds a Master of Divinity degree from St. Paul University in Ottawa. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Ottawa in May 2023. He previously had ministry internships at Julian of Norwich Church and St. John the Evangelist Church (both in Ottawa), at St. James the Apostle Church in Perth, and finally at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Ottawa.

John enjoys reading, travel, curling, and spending time with his wife, Monika, and their teenage son.

Honorary Assistants

Honorary Assistants are volunteer clergy, either retired or engaged in ministries outside of parishes. As they are able, they share their experience and skills with the parish and provide much appreciated support and friendship to the clergy on staff. St. Helen’s is blessed with the two honorary assistants.

The Rev. Canon Hilary Murray

Hilary presently serves as the full-time Clinical Chaplain to Cornerstone Housing for Women, after many years in different parish ministry contexts. She obtained her Master of Pastoral Theology degree from St. Paul’s University in 2012.

Hilary is also a clinical social worker, obtaining her Master of Social Work degree in 1993 from Florida State University. She is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers. She has extensive experience providing psychotherapeutic services in the areas of grief/loss, chronic illness and end stage medical conditions, depression/anxiety, trauma and marriage and family therapy, as well as spirituality.

Hilary serves as a member of the Ottawa Pastoral Care Training Program Advisory Board and as one of their Pastoral Care training course facilitators. She is also is a member of the board for Compassionate Ottawa and actively involved with their faith

In her spare time Hilary enjoys hiking on nature trails, walking her dog Pepper, playing with her cat Max, and ballroom dancing.

The Rev. Kay Richardson

Kay Richardson was born in Denver, Colorado, and raised in Aurora, Colorado. She went to the University of Colorado, studying music education. Then she went to the University of Illinois for a Master of Arts in music. It is there that she met her husband, Brian Richardson.

Kay and Brian then moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where Kay taught music in the Richmond, B.C. public schools and taught flute. In the years to come, Kay and Brian lived in Regina, where Kay played flute in the Regina symphony, and Ottawa. In each place, Kay continued teaching and playing the flute.

Kay studied theology at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, obtaining a BTH and an MPTH in
theology. She was ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada in 1998. Her first placement was as Assistant Curate at St. Helen’s Anglican Church and she also served as Chaplain to Elizabeth Bruyere Hospital in Ottawa.

In May, 2001, Kay was appointed incumbent at the Anglican Churches Along the Ottawa River: Hawkesbury and L’Orignal in the Diocese of Ottawa, and Grenville, Calumet and Montebello in the Diocese of Montreal. Kay retired in September 2011, and has served the Diocese by doing summer replacement and interim ministry, including a number of months here at St. Helen’s. She has also spent some time in Naples Florida, serving as a retired priest at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Naples, Florida.

Kay and Brian have two adult children, and two grandchildren. They are avid bridge players and frequent travelers.