Bishop Thompson who retired in 2020 after 47 years as an ordained minister is remembered for the “single-minded passion” which he displayed for his lifelong pastoral vocation in the Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands. This culminated with his consecration in 2005 as Suffragan Bishop of Kingston – an office in which he gave outstanding service until his retirement.
Born in Westmoreland, he received his secondary education at Jamaica College where the influence of The Rev. Fr. John McNab, School Chaplain and Rector of Church of the Ascension, Mona inspired his decision to enter the priesthood. In 1969, at age 20, he enrolled at the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) and was ordained a Deacon on June 29, 1973. His ordination to the priesthood followed in 1974.
Further studies at McGill University earned him the Bachelor of Theology Degree and the Master’s in Sacred Theology in 1979. He was appointed a Research Fellow at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in 1988; and he received the Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge in 2004.
His action-packed ministry includes service as Assistant Curate at The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Molynes Road from 1973-1978; Rector of St. Jude’s, Stony Hill from 1987-1990 and Rector of St. Andrew Parish Church from 1990-2005.
Highlights of his tenure in these Cures include the construction of the Church of the Resurrection in Duhaney Park, which was the first project of this magnitude assigned to a Curate in the Diocese. At St. Jude’s, he spearheaded the Church’s 1987 Centenary celebrations and the reconstruction of two Mission Churches which were destroyed by fire and hurricane, respectively.
During his tenure at St. Andrew Parish Church, this advocate for human development took the Church’s flagship St. Andrew Settlement project in Majesty Gardens to a new level with the construction of houses on land leased by the Church. He also played a pivotal role in the establishment of the St. Andrew Care Centre for Street Boys.
He was appointed a Canon of the Cathedral of St. Jago de la Vega, in Spanish Town in 2001.
Bishop Thompson is remembered across the Diocese as a strong, decisive, no-nonsense leader, who though impatient and brutally honest at times, was an extremely caring and compassionate clergyman who nurtured many persons to faith, and who subsequently became members of his extended family.
Bishop Thompson is survived by his wife, Charmaine, his sons, Matthew and Joseph; his granddaughter, Maliyah and Savannah; grandson, Joshua Robert, as well as siblings and other relatives.
The Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands mourns the passing of this “Man of God;” and extends condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace and light perpetual shine on him.
– The Most Rev. Dr. Howard Gregory
Archbishop of the West Indies Primate & Metropolitan
Bishop of Jamaica & The Cayman Islands