Synod and Diocesan Council
Like most dioceses of the Anglican Communion, the Diocese of New Westminster is episcopally led and synodically governed through the Canons and Constitution of the Diocese.
Diocesan Synod consists of all the eligible clergy in the Diocese, and from two to six lay people elected from each parish proportionate to the 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 Synod members consisting of: Diocesan Officers (Bishop, Chancellor, Treasurer); two of the aggregate nine from the following group in parenthesis (Dean of the Diocese, the six 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, for a total of twelve plus two youth delegates.
Certain Diocesan Staff members also attend meetings but are members of Diocesan Council with voice but no vote; they 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 2017 presented the vision budgets for 2018 and 2019.
Our $3.2 million diocesan annual operating budget draws 67% of its revenue from annual parish annual 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 three main funds that are a significant support for new ministry initiatives: the Anglican Initiatives Fund, the Mission & Ministry Fund and the Fair Share Assessment Fund (need correct name).