Who is Leicester Bigby?

REV. DR. E. LEICESTER BIGBY
It was John Wesley who said, "The world is my parish." Little did he know that today we would have
to face the reality of the multicultural society. In his work as Pastor of Union Church, Rev. Bigby
uses his experience and expertise to not only help his congregation, but the Black community and the
wider church in Canada and the United States, face the reality of living in a multicultural society. The
world is his parish. Rev. Bigby believes that "multiculturalism is more than just song and dance and a
sampling of ethnic foods. What is most needed is education, with a serious view to transformation."
To that end, he has worked tirelessly on many committees at the local, national and international levels
In 1982, Rev. Bigby started Heritage Week at Union United Church to celebrate differences amongst
the many cultural groups which comprise his congregation. With his wife Hazel, Rev. Bigby serves as
a resource person to "The Whole People of God" curriculum writers and editors. This Christian
education curriculum is used not only in various denominations in Canada, but in the United States,
Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and some European countries. The new United Church
Hymnbook also received input from Rev. Bigby in its use of inclusive language and imagery as it
pertains to Blacks. Other committees in which he is involved both nationally and internationally
include: The Multicultural Education and Black Congregational Ministries Committees of the
National Council of Churches of Christ.
Rev. Bigby has received several awards for his involvement in the local community. He has received:
The Jackie Robinson Community Award from the Montreal Association of Black Business Persons
and Professionals; The Renaissance Community Award from the Afro-Quebec Community for the
improvement of Little Burgundy in Montreal; Outstanding Service Award from The Council On
Black Aging, and the award from The Government of Quebec for Community Involvement and
Leadership.
Also known for his work in the area of Conflict Management, Rev. Bigby has acted as consultant to
the Methodist Synod of Bermuda. He has directed workshops and participated in panel discussions
not only in Conflict Management but in Race Relations and Church revitalization as well.
He has been blessed with the honour of sharing his pulpit with such pioneers in the fight against
racism, more specifically against apartheid in South Africa, as President Nelson Mandela, Bishop
Desmond Tutu, Rev. Allan Boesak, and Walter and Albertina Sissulu. In 1989, Leicester was a theme speaker to the Rotary Clubs of Great Britain and Ireland at their convention in Bournemouth, England
Rev. Bigby received his training in education, public health and theology in his native Jamaica. He
earned his B.A., M.Div. and M.Ed. degrees form Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario and a
Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois.
Rev. Bigby's passion for singing and music led to his formation of Union Church Gospel Choir which
has become well known. He has also written the lyrics and music to “O Sing a Song of Christmas Cheer”, a hymn “Lord of All Goodness and All Joy”, as well as a choir anthem entitled “O Clap Your hands to the Lord”.  
He is married to Dr. Hazel Bigby. They have four children and are proud grandparents of seven.