Synod and Diocesan Council
Like most dioceses of the Anglican Communion, the Diocese of New Westminster is episcopally-led and synodically-governed through the Constitution, Canons and Rules of Order of the Diocese.
Diocesan Synod consists of all eligible clergy in the Diocese, and from two to six lay people elected from each parish proportionate to its size. The Regular Synod is held bi-annually in odd-numbered years, and the Bishop may convene a Special Synod when needed. In even-numbered years there is a Diocesan Mission Conference open to all clergy and parishioners (not just Synod delegates).
The Diocesan Council functions as the Synod between Synods and is made up of twenty-one members of Synod: Diocesan Officers (Bishop, Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Treasurer); two members chosen from among the Dean and Archdeacons; one of the two additional Diocesan Legal Officers (Registrar or Legal Assessor); two representatives from each Archdeaconry, one lay, one ordained; and two youth members.
Certain Diocesan Staff members also attend Diocesan Council with voice but no vote. These staff members include: The Director of Finance and Property, 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 and Diocesan Council are both chaired by the Bishop. Diocesan Council is adjourned for the months of July and August.
The Diocese of New Westminster is financially well-managed and has a solid financial base. The Diocese has a well-defined budget process that involves the Diocese at many levels. The parishes of the Diocese have significant input in the budget process through Diocesan Standing Committees, Diocesan Council and Diocesan Synod. The last convening of Diocesan Synod in 2019 presented the vision budgets for 2020 and 2021.
Our $3.2 million diocesan annual operating budget draws 67% of its revenue from annual parish assessments. The assessment formula has recently been recalculated as a “fair share assessment” that has resulted in decreases for many parishes. The few parishes that have seen a marked increase are receiving a subsidy for a period of three years (2018 -2020). An appeals process is also in place.
The remaining 33% of revenue is primarily drawn from capital funds – income and capital.
The Diocese has two main funds that are a significant support for new ministry initiatives: the Anglican Initiatives Fund and the Diocesan Fair Share Fund.