Announcement of New Rector to Parish

Dear Fellow Parishioners, 

We are delighted to announce that the Reverend Gillian R. Barr of Providence, Rhode Island, has accepted the Vestry’s call to join our parish family as our new rector. Gillian will take up residency in Calvary House and begin her life at Calvary Church effective August 1. 

Gillian comes to us from the Church of the Good Shepherd in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where she was the Priest-in-Charge from 2014-2019. She also served as the Digital Communications Coordinator for the Diocese of Rhode Island. Gillian is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, with a post-graduate diploma in Anglican studies from the Virginia Theological Seminary. She has nine years of experience as a priest and brings with her experience and skill in liturgy, teaching, spiritual formation, stewardship, preaching, young adult ministry, administration and digital communications.

“The Recruitment team received eleven resumes from candidates wishing to be considered to become our next Rector. Eleven is about the highest amount of candidates any church has received in the Episcopal Church in CT in recent years. We chose to interview seven by Skype. We then unanimously voted to bring four to campus. After our campus interviews, tours and dinners it was very clear to the team that Gillian was by far the very best person to move forward for Vestry consideration. I am grateful to God that she accepted the call and personally look forward to working with her as we continue to do Gods work in the world.” Barbara Loftus, Chair, Recruitment Team

Among Gillian’s many positive attributes, the Vestry was impressed by her combination of love for the Anglican tradition and thoughtful and creative approach to spiritual formation. Gillian has led retreats and ‘quiet days’ using ‘Listening Hearts’ to develop spiritual discernment among children, youth and adults. She designed and taught a course for adults on “Harry Potter and the Gospel of Christ.” Gillian also brings a successful track record expanding the stewardship program in a small parish. 

"I am extremely honored to have been called to be the next rector of Calvary Church. I am excited to serve a parish with such a wonderful combination of gifts: a love of the best of Anglican worship and music and a passion for sharing it with others, care and concern for children and families, active outreach ministries with those near and far, generous hospitality, and the desire to continue to grow in your faith. Your Transition teams and Vestry have been wonderful ambassadors, and I look forward to getting to know and love you all. I can’t wait until I join you in Stonington. Until then, to borrow from the letter to the Ephesians, 'I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.' (Ephesians 1:15-16) " The Rev. Gillian Barr

The success of many months of search is thanks to the hard work of many, many of our members who were willing to sacrifice a great deal of their time and energy to see this process through to its completion. We owe a great deal of gratitude to all who served on the Prayer, Hospitality, Discernment, and Recruitment Committees, and also to your Vestry. A very special thanks to the Rev. Virginia Army, our Transition Consultant, for her guidance and encouragement. 

I know we all look forward to welcoming and getting acquainted with the Rev. Gillian Barr. Please continue to pray for this new chapter in our spiritual journey at Calvary Church.


Betsy Carr and Jennifer Parsons,
Co-Senior Wardens

To learn more about the Rev. Gillian Barr:
Personal website –  https://gillianbarr.wordpress.com

Reverend Gillian R. Barr


Gillian spent the first 20-some years of her life in Annapolis, Maryland, where she came to love history, old buildings, the water, and small boats. Both of her late parents were teachers, so her love of teaching and learning is genetic. In addition to Annapolis, she lived in Rochester, Minnesota; San Diego, California; and several cities in Virginia before moving to Providence, Rhode Island five years ago. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia (BA), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Virginia Theological Seminary (Anglican Studies). Prior to discerning her call to ordained ministry she worked in history museums, as a lay Director of Christian Education in parishes, and as an assistant manager in public libraries.

Outside of ministry, her interests include travel, history of all sorts, photography, folk music, sports cars, college football, moderate exercise, reading, pets, Harry Potter, stationery and fountain pens. She is currently pet-servant to Roxy-cat, a dilute tortoiseshell. She grew up with dogs, and hopes to adopt a rescue Brittany when the time is right. She is ecstatic about her call to Calvary Church and looks forward to making Stonington her home.