St. Luke’s Welcomes Rev. Barrie Bates During Sabbatical

The Rev. Dr. J. Barrington joins us August 20 as our priest, proving coverage during the Rev. John Mennell’s sabbatical. Dr. Bates trained for ordained ministry at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, the Episcopal seminary in Berkley, California. He has served Anglican and Lutheran congregations in California, New York, and New Jersey over the past 20+ years. He holds a Ph.D. in liturgical studies from Drew University, as well as master’s degrees from C.D.S.P. (M.Div.), the Graduate Theological Union (M.A.), the General Theological Seminary (S.T.M., and where he met Jennifer), and Drew (M.Phil.). His current avocation is interim ministry, but the situation at St. Luke’s is just perfect for him right now. He is a graduate of the Interim Ministry Network’s training and the Clergy Leadership Project.

This is his second part-time foray back into the world of parish ministry, after a hiatus of eight months due to a serious bout of Lyme Disease, plus double knee replacements. For now, the equivalent of one day a week is just about as much as he can manage!

Prior to ordination, Father Barrie worked as a computer programmer; his last secular job was as Database Administrator at Harvard Medical School, where they used to punch holes in cards. A graduate of Boston University, he sang in the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus as a lad. These days, he summarizes his hobbies as boating, fine dining, and opera—and only half jokingly.

In 2003, he played the role of Priest on an episode of Third Watch (N.B.C. television), from which experience he remains a member of the Screen Actors’ Guild to this day. He lives in Jersey City with his spouse, James MacKenzie, who is a consultant in communication skills. They were married twelve years ago this coming November.

Describing himself as a “contributor to public theology and commentator on current events, from the viewpoint of a progressive sacramental Christian,” he may be found on Facebook (J Barrington Bates), via Twitter (@barriebates), and at occasional gatherings of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation, the North American Academy of Liturgy, and the Society of Catholic Priests.

His very part-time schedule here at St. Luke’s has yet to be sorted in detail; stay tuned for late-breaking news! His first priority will be getting to know people—so feel free to invite him for coffee or Sunday lunch, to make an appointment to chat, or to send him e-mail at