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

To download, right-click the file and select "Save link as".

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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  

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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  

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Clergy Marriages Around the Diocese

 A blessing of the marriage of the Reverend Joel Gahungu and Nadege Uwineza was celebrated on Saturday, June 4th with the Reverend Michael Batten officiating. Joel and Nadege were married in Burundi and Nadege and... Read More  

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Diocesan Leadership Changes

STANDING COMMITTEE ON MISSION AND MINISTRY DEVELOPMENT David Swan has served as Chair of the Mission and Ministry Development Committee since the reorganization of committee structures following Synod  2014. David... Read More  

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Clergy News Around the Diocese June 2016

The Reverend Peter Smyth has been appointed Senior Port Chaplain to the Mission to Seafarers, Port of Vancouver. Peter will begin on September 1. He comes to us from the Diocese of Algoma On the recommendation of... Read More  

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Whitecaps Faith and Family Night

Vancouver Whitecaps FC are holding their 5th Annual Faith and Family Night, Saturday, July 9, 2016 at BC Place and the Diocese of New Westminster is participating. The Whitecaps will be hosting the Colorado Rapids.... Read More  

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Clergy News Around the Diocese for May 2016

Congratulations to the folks of St. Laurence, Coquitlam. On the recommendation of the Canonical Committee, Bishop Skelton has appointed the Reverend Eric Mason (Episcopal Diocese of Olympia) as their next rector.... Read More  

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Training for the New Anti-Racism Trainers

A total of eighteen people, including two trainers, gathered at the Synod Office on April 28 – May 1, to participate in a workshop to train facilitators in anti-racism training.   The group was joined by Esther... Read More  

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Bishop Skelton's Request for Prayers for Ft. McMurray

For the past few days our news media, locally, nationally and even internationally have been full of the frightening images of roaring fires and billowing clouds of smoke enveloping the forests and the inhabited... Read More  

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The Second Anniversary of Bishop Skelton's Consecration

It was two years ago on St. David's Day, March 1st, 2014, that the Reverend Canon Melissa Skelton of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia in The Episcopal Church (TEC) was ordained bishop at the Vancouver Convention... Read More