Archibald Lang Fleming 1883 – 1953 Bishop of the Arctic

Archibald Lang Fleming was born in 4 Robertson Street Greenock on 8 September 1883 to Captain and Mrs (Janet Livingstone) John Fleming.  He was educated at Greenock Academy and became an apprentice with John Brown’s at Clydebank at the same time studying Naval Architecture at Glasgow University.

After some time with John Brown’s he saw an advertisement appealing for missionaries to work in Canada.  He was accepted and began his studies at the Wycliffe College in Canada. After several breaks in his studies to develop the work among the Eskimo tribes he completed his degree in 1916.  He had already been ordained as a deacon then a priest of the Church of England in Canada earlier.  He was consecrated as a Bishop in 1933 being the first Bishop of the whole of the Arctic.  He was fluent in the local languages and understood the cultures of the indigenous people.  He travelled widely in his diocese of some 1,250,000 square miles – a third of Canada , becoming known as the Flying Bishop. He retired from his work in 1949 due to a heart ailment.

He was a well-known lecturer in Canada and America as well as in Britain preaching on several occasion in Westminster Abbey.  He was also the author of several books and was a member of the Royal Geographical Society.

Fleming married in 1913 to Helen Grace Gillespie who died in 1941 and in 1942 to Elizabeth Nelson Lukens.

He died of a heart attack on 17th May 1953 and is buried in the Maitland Cemetery, Goderich, Ontario.