With saddness, we announce that Canon Michael Coleman died peacefully in his home early this morning, June 29, 2021.

Michael was a life-long Anglican who attended St Peter, Quamichan, and was the diocesan registrar from 2008 to 2015. He was awarded the title of lay canon by Bishop Logan at the 98th Synod in 2018. The Coleman family is deeply connected to the Anglican community throughout the diocese; please pray for his wife, Barbara (St John the Baptist, Duncan); his sisters, Rosemary (Bob) (St Luke, Cedar Hill) and Sally (Dick) (St Michael and All Angels, Royal Oak); his brother, Chris (Judith) (Christ Church Cathedral); and his children and grandchildren. In memory of Michael, please consider a donation to the Cowichan Foundation. 

Anglican Diocese of BC

My connection with Michael was largely at a distance. We saw each other only occasionally, usually at official Anglican functions, and so of course not for over a year now. Our relationship was one of those strange configurations of human connection that are sometimes spawned and nurtured almost exclusively online. Since almost the beginning Michael Coleman has been as his sister Sally said, a faithful fan of IASP and

often the first to like your posts!

I don’t think it would be entirely true to say that Michael was the only fan of IASP, but certainly he was one of the longest surviving and most faithful readers of my blog. When I told someone today that Michael had died, they replied, “Well you might as well shut down your blog then.” Michael was a tireless encourager of others and will be missed in this little spot of cyberspace.

He had an indomitable spirit, a delightful sense of humour and loved language and its peculiar intricacies. He had an incisive mind and profound political insights. He was extremely well-educated and widely read. On a number of occasions, when I mentioned on my blog some obscure book I had been reading, he would surprise me by saying, “Oh yes, I read that book.”

But most of all, as evidenced in his frequent Facebook posts, Michael demonstrated open respectful dialogue. He was able to carry on conversations on even the most contentious issues without demonizing those who might take a different stance. He did not seem to feel the need to paint anyone into a corner and genuinely appeared to relish the friction of different, sometimes radically opposed points of view.

He never seemed to get agitated or “hot under the collar.” He was a model of how people might engage in respectful fruitful verbal exchange from vastly different perspectives. There may have been people Michael didn’t like, but if there were, I certainly never saw any evidence to suggest dislike. He genuinely seemed to value people in a way that bears profound testimony to the depths of his faith and the degree to which he had internalized the teachings of Jesus.

I don’t know where I will turn now that he is gone, for the kind of balanced, thoughtful, nuanced political commentary that Michael was always able to produce.

He will be deeply missed by the wider Anglican community in this area. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. May you all find strength and peace, confident that Michael now rests in the glory of which he caught regular glimpses among you. God bless you all.