The Diocese of New Westminster

The Diocese of New Westminster

The Diocese of New Westminster consists of 68 (66 active parishes and 2 emerging faith communities) worshiping and serving communities in mission together across the southwest part of the province of British Columbia from the Sunshine Coast to the west to Hope located 150 kilometres east of the City of Vancouver.

It is divided into 6 archdeaconries and 11 regional deaneries. It was established in 1879. The eighth bishop of New Westminster the Rt. Rev. Michael Ingham resigned August 31st, 2013, after nearly 20 years of servant-leadership.

At an Electoral Synod held at the Cathedral Church of the Diocese, Christ Church on November 30th, 2013, the Reverend Canon Melissa Skelton of the Diocese of Olympia in Washington State was elected. She was consecrated and installed the Right Reverend Melissa M. Skelton the 9th Bishop of New Westminster on March 1st, 2014.

The Diocesan mission statement is "Growing communities of faith in Jesus Christ to serve God's mission in the world." 

Governance & Council

The Governance of the Diocese of New Westminster is done at Synod by Synod and by Diocesan Council.

Diocesan Council is the decision making, governing body of the Diocese of New Westminster consisting of: Diocesan Officers (Bishop, Chancellor, Treasurer); 2 of the aggregate 9 from the following group in parenthesis (Dean of the Diocese, the 6 Archdeacons, the Director of Deacons and the Executive Archdeacon); one of the two additional Diocesan Legal Officers, (Registrar or Legal Assessor); Archdeaconry reps, one lay, one ordained, total of 12 and 2 youth delegates.

An Archdeaconry is a group of churches, geographically affiliated and the reps are elected at the Synod Meetings. Synod Staff also attend meetings but are members of Diocesan Council with voice but no vote; they include: Business Administrator, the Executive Archdeacon if she or he has not been chosen as a voting member and the Director for Mission and Ministry Development (and other staff as required).

Diocesan Synod consists of all the eligible clergy in the Diocese of New Westminster (Resolution 1 passed May 23rd, 2014 at the 115th Synod, view below) and 2-6 lay people elected from each diocesan parish proportionate to the size of the parish community. Diocesan Council functions as the Synod between Synods, it is a representation of the large group that meets bi-annually.

Diocesan Council and Diocesan Synod are both chaired by the Bishop. Diocesan Council is adjourned for the months of July and August.

The Diocesan Profile assembled to provide information to prospective candidates for bishop in advance of the November 30th, 2013, Electoral Synod. View the full Diocesan Profile below.

Available Files to Download

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Retired Clergy and Spouses Luncheon, December Edition 2016

More than 70 retired clergy and spouses gathered December 1, 2016, at the Synod Offices, 1410 Nanton for the annual Advent version of the Retired Clergy and Spouses Luncheon for the Diocese of New Westminster. The... Read More


Bishop's Pastoral Letter Regarding the Marriage Canon

Greetings to you all At General Synod 2016 a 2/3 majority of delegates in each house (laity, clergy and bishops) voted to amend the marriage canon to make marriage available to “all persons who are duly qualified by... Read More

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Clergy News Around the Diocese - November 2016

There will be a Celebration of New Ministry at St. Aidan and St. Bartholomew, Gibson’s Landing as the Reverend Brian Heinrich is installed as vicar on St. Lucy’s Day, Tuesday, December 13 at 5:30pm. Bishop Skelton... Read More


Clergy Day on P.A.D. and Related Pastoral Care

On Wednesday, November 15, approximately sixty clergy of the diocese and nine visiting experts gathered in the main conference room and other locations around the Synod Offices to discuss Physician Assisted Death... Read More


Pastoral Letter: US Elections Results

Dear People of the Diocese of New Westminster I awoke this morning, as many of you did, in shock, grief and confusion as the elections in the US concluded. While, as a person born in the US, I could offer my own... Read More


Archbishop Fred Hiltz Visits 1410 Nanton Avenue

Wednesday, October 26, 2016, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Most Reverend Fred Hiltz made his first visit to the current location of the Diocesan Offices at 1410 Nanton Avenue. Archbishop Hiltz... Read More


Meet Brother James Koester, SSJE

On Saturday, October 29 from 10am - 12pm in the Trendell Lounge at 1410 Nanton Street (the Synod Offices) all are welcome to participate in an opportunity to meet Brother James Koester, Superior, Society of St John... Read More


Archdeaconry Consultative Meetings

Assessment Task Force (ATF) and Draft of a 5 - Year Diocesan Vision Statement The Assessment Task Force has arranged a series of October and November Archdeaconry meetings to gather further comments on Assessment... Read More


Clergy News Around the Diocese - October, 2016

Bishop Melissa Skelton has appointed the Reverend Helen Tervo as Interim Priest-in-Charge of St Andrew, Langley beginning on November 1 and the Reverend  Roberta Fraser as Interim Priest-in-Charge of St Alban the... Read More


Pet Blessing Services

A number of administrators of the Find-a-Church parish pages for the diocesan website have posted information about Animal Blessing liturgies being celebrated Sunday, October 2 and on The Feast of St. Francis of... Read More


Clergy News September 2016

The Reverend Brian Heinrich long time pastor of Lutheran Urban Ministries and more recently on the clergy staff of Christ Church Cathedral will began as Vicar of St Bartholomew and St Aidan, Gibsons on October 1.... Read More


Synod Office Reception Display Cases

As the work day was winding down on Wednesday August 31 a large delivery truck pulled up outside the Synod Office and the six (two large, four small) new display cases (safely enclosed in their packing containers)... Read More


The Reverend James Gordon Gardiner: July 21, 1921 - August 21, 2016

I am writing to inform you that the Reverend James Gordon Gardiner, priest, died on Sunday, August 21st at Central City Lodge where he had resided for the past five years. Father Gardiner was born in Toronto on July... Read More


UPDATE: Pride Sunday

On Sunday, July 31, 2016, an 8am Eucharist which included the Service of Light took place at Christ Church Cathedral (CCC). Bishop Melissa Skelton presided and Dean Peter Elliott preached. Following worship,... Read More


Director of Mission and Ministry Development on Leave

The Reverend Ruth Monette, Director for Mission and Ministry Development at the Diocese of New Westminster will be on parental leave for three months. Mother Ruth and her partner welcomed a new member of their... Read More

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Around the Diocese for July 2016

Bishop Melissa Skelton has appointed the Reverend Deacon Gordon Barrett as the next Regional Dean of Royal City/South Burnaby. Currently licensed to All Saints', Burnaby, Gordon is the first deacon to serve as a... Read More


Diocesan Consultation - Bishop Skelton's Statement

Greetings to you all: By now many of you have heard the news that the resolution to change the marriage canon to allow same-sex couples to marry in the Anglican Church of Canada did, indeed, pass in all three houses... Read More


The Reverend Celia Howard - March 14, 1951 - July 8, 2016

It is with sadness that I announce the death of the Reverend Celia Howard on Friday, July 8, 2016.Celia was raised a Roman Catholic in pre-Vatican II times. She was ordained in the Diocese of Huron in 1990 and... Read More

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D of NW Leaders Elected to General Synod Leadership

As of July 14 and Bishop Melissa Skelton and Lay Delegate to General Synod, Business Administrator Rob Dickson are back in their offices at 1410 Nanton Avenue after attending General Synod 2016, July 6 – 12 in... Read More

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Canadian Cranmer Cup Foursome 2016

As I write this, the trip of a life-time is just around the corner.  Soon I will be with 35 clergy from the US, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Almost two years ago, I learned that I was on Team North America... Read More


Ordinations - June 18, 2016

Ordinations on the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist On Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 10:30am more than 500 people filled Christ Church Cathedral where Bishop Melissa Skelton ordained: to the Vocational... Read More

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Diocesan Website Blog is Up and Running

The Blog module on the diocesan website is up and running, specifically for Archivist and General Synod Lay Delegate from the Diocese of New Westminster, Melanie Delva to report on General Synod 2016... Read More


Pastoral Letter Regarding Orlando and the Murder of Robert Hall

In the last few days more horrific violence has occurred than most of us can absorb: first the devastating hate-crime murder of 49 and the wounding of 53 in a gay bar in Orlando, Florida, and second, the cruel... Read More