The Diocese of New Westminster's Mission Priorities - September 25, 2017
Our Diocesan Mission
“Growing communities of faith in Jesus Christ to serve God’s mission in the world.”
Our God is a relational God. We seek to foster, build and strengthen our relationships with one another in all we do in diocesan, parish and community circles.
Through the action of the Holy Spirit, our God creates the Church as Christ’s continuing presence in and for the world. We seek to focus diocesan energy and resources on parish development: assisting parishes in focusing on and building their excellence around their core purpose of gathering, transforming and sending; encouraging parishes to express the best of their Anglican identity; and assisting parishes in creatively engaging the real challenges and opportunities before them.
Our God seeks justice for the oppressed. We seek to assist diocesan leaders and parishes in learning about the culture and history of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, in engaging with Indigenous peoples in their neighbourhood and regions, and in advancing the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Our God delights in the diversity of humanity and yearns for all humanity to be one. We seek to increase the diversity of the leadership in our diocese and to strengthen the ability of our parishes to engage the diversity of the people in our parishes, in our neighbourhoods and in our region. We seek the transformation of our minds, our hearts and our practice as we increase our diversity and seek the oneness that God invites us to embrace.
Our God entrusts us with the stewardship of our lives and our communities. We seek to work on the overall sustainability of our diocese and of our parishes by attending to the fit between all the elements of diocesan or parish life (finances, property, priorities, processes, organizational structures, organizational culture, external relationships, etc.) We seek to nurture a diocesan culture that is more transparent, collaborative, consultative, courageous and in which people have greater choice.
The Diocese of New Westminster consists of 69 (66 active parishes and 3 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.