Doctor Tony Thompson: Wesley minister honoured with degree

Wesley United Church minister Tony Thompson presides over Sunday's special service in the historic downtown building. Arthur White-Crummey/Daily Herald

Former premier Lorne Calvert was in Prince Albert Sunday. He addressed the congregation at Wesley United Church, and announced a high honour for their minister.

The congregants learned that the Reverend Tony Thompson has now become the Reverend Doctor Tony Thompson, after he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from St. Andrew’s College.

“I am humbled and honoured by this accolade from my peers,” Thompson told the Daily Herald. “I am also grateful to the five congregations I have served over 37 years of ministry. They expected excellence from me, their minister, and they also gave me the freedom to be involved in the United Church at all its levels.”

Thompson is retiring next year, after leading worship at Wesley for 14 years. He has also chaired the Academic Committee at St. Andrew’s College, the largest United Church theological school on the Prairies. Calvert, who served as premier from 2001 to 2009, is now principal there.

During his sermon, Calvert said the school wanted to recognize Thompson’s service to his congregants, as well as his work in the wider church. Thompson will be formally honoured at a “hooding ceremony” during the spring convocation of the Saskatoon Theological Union.

“I wish to thank especially those who nominated me for this distinction,” said Thompson. “I am deeply touched by your desire to see me honoured in this way.”