I first met Jeff in 2015 when I reached out to faith groups across the West Kootenay to organize around Pope Francis’ Laudato si’– the encyclical on climate change. Jeff was the new Pastor of the newly consolidated ministry, the Anglican Parish of Kokanee. He was an outgoing and charismatic and young pastor who enthusiastically participated in creating the Nelson interfaith climate action collective along with pastors, priests, and active members of local faith groups.


Under his leadership, in 2017, St. Saviour’s and three other Nelson-area spiritual communities committed to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050. This helped build support for City of Nelson to make this commitment in 2018. CBC’s national news program, The World This Weekend, did a story on this commitment. You can hear Rev. Donnelly in his interview here.


Sadly we have not only lost Rev. Donnelly from the interfaith climate collective, but also Russ from the Shambhala Meditation Center, and Father Conrado from Nelson’s Mary Immaculate Catholic Church.


I admired Jeff’s kindness and his bravery as an openly gay pastor. He’s an inspiration to all of us in the queer community, and the environmental and social justice community. I will miss Jeff very much.

Jeff and other members of the interfaith climate action collaborative in 2019.

Montana Burgess is the Executive Director at West Kootenay EcoSociety.