Randy Murray
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On Wednesday, October 30, Diocesan Council gathered in the Trendell Lounge at the Synod Office for what would be the last scheduled meeting of the year. Council members met at 6pm for dinner, followed by a 6:30 meeting start. Caterer Bette Geddes, ODNW had prepared a scrumptious spread of Slavic themed food, Cabbage Roll Casserole and Perogies with salad.

As is often the case there was a full agenda on the table that was subsequently augmented by more items prior to approval.

Among the tasks to be completed at the October 30 meeting were motions dealing with changes to diocesan regulations, the results of the ongoing work of the Working Group on Constitution, Canons and Regulations. The changes in the regulations are primarily around wording and their current relevance given the changes in diocesan polity and structure in recent years. The Motion agreeing to these revisions was Carried. 

Also discussed were the Motions regarding new Terms of Reference for the two Standing Committees of Council; Management, Finance and Property (MFP); and Mission and Ministry Development (MMD). Although the new Terms of Reference were passed by Council, MMD’s request to change their name to “Mission and Ministry” will need to wait for the next diocesan Synod.

There was also a presentation by a group advocating for direct diocesan funding for Hospital Chaplaincy, specifically the chaplaincy at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and the ministry of current chaplain, the Reverend Bryan Rivers. Rev. Rivers was supported by the Reverends Liz Hamel and John Stephens and Archdeacon Stephanie Shepard.  Rev. River’s gave a compelling address and distributed copies of a brochure that is used to raise awareness about Anglican Chaplaincy at VGH. Council suggested that the group take their funding requests to the Anglican Initiatives Fund (AIF) for the next funding cycle as that would supply funds for a minimum 2 years and would be more definite in terms of continued funding for the ministry than from the diocesan budget. The Motion drafted by the chancellor, George Cadman, QC, ODNW to forward the request to AIF was Carried.

The two major agenda items involved Diocesan Synod 2019 – Resolutions and the proposed sale of property at Holy Trinity Cathedral, New Westminster.

RESOLUTIONS

(Here is a link to the Synod 2019 Resolutions list)

There are three resolutions that were referred to Diocesan Council for action and two for further debate:

Resolution 5 requested Diocesan Council to direct funds from property sales, 'in a gesture of reconciliation', to projects, places and Indigenous communities. Diocesan Council appointed an Advisory Group: Diocesan Treasurer, Bob Hardy,ODNW; Missioner for Indigenous Justice Ministry, Jerry Adams, Tegan Smith, Susanne Stockdill, ODNW, and Archdeacon of Fraser, the Venerable Louie Engnan. Following discussions, it was agreed that this group should have permission to co-opt two others if needed. The Advisory Group’s initial report will likely is to be received by Council in January 2020.

Resolution 8 Climate Change – Council referred the Resolution to MMD to provide guidance to Council and report back at the March 2020 meeting. Prior to the Motion being Carried to refer Resolution 8 to MMD, the Reverend Tellison Glover, Director for Mission and Ministry affirmed that MMD is in the process of establishing a working group to move forward with strategies to address the climate crisis within the context of diocesan ministry.  

Resolution 9 - insurance coverage for non-stipendiary clergy. This available insurance coverage has been reported out with a document on the diocesan website and to the Deacons' Day that took place October 26, 2019.

Resolution 11 - develop and enact a policy on gender equality with a goal of having gender diversity better reflected in the leadership in our diocese. Diocesan Council appointed a Working Group to develop a document to aid further discussion at the January 2020 meeting of Council. Members are: Lily Groves, the Reverends Eileen Nurse (Rev. Nurse was the Mover of the original Synod Motion) and Robin Ruder-Celiz and Sharon Grove.

Resolution 12 - identify ways of sharing the L'Arche Model of intentional community. This resolution was tabled until the January 2020 meeting.

HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT

For the past 12 years, the leadership of Holy Trinity Cathedral, New Westminster have been pursuing a development deal in order to obtain the financial resources to restore and seismically upgrade the Cathedral building, and continue the mission and ministry of the parish with congregational growth and development part of those ministry goals. There have been a number of attempts but the current negotiations with Conwest Development have been encouraging and the process is moving forward.

In summary, Conwest will build on a section of the HTC property footprint a 30 story tower that will consist of affordable housing, market housing (rental and ownership) and a new parish hall and offices. Property transactions and development are the purview of Council and the purpose of the Motion moved at the October 30 meeting asked Council to delegate the authority to act on the property sale agreement to the Property Sales Committee which consists of: the archbishop, the executive archdeacon, the treasurer and one of the legal officers.

Prior to the discussion on the motion, the chancellor, George Cadman excused himself and left the room because his law firm represents Conwest Developments. Chancellor Cadman does not actually work directly with Conwest. The other piece regarding legal representation on the Property Sales Committee is that diocesan registrar, Donald Paul, ODNW represents the Parish of Holy Trinity Cathedral in the ongoing negotiations with Conwest. Diocesan legal advisor, Jennifer Dezell, ODNW will likely consult on the project.

Vicar of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Archdeacon Richard Leggett in support of the Motion told Council that New Westminster City Council and other agencies that require input into the project do not meet around the schedule of Diocesan Council and often decisions need to be made from the diocesan perspective within a narrow window of time.  Delegating this authority to the Committee would really help with the process.

The Motion was Carried.

For more information about the Holy Trinity Cathedral project please refer to Archdeacon Leggett’s article on page 10 in the November 2019 issue of Topic, the monthly publication of the Diocese of New Westminster. High resolution and web resolution .PDFs of November’s Topic are available here for downloading.

The next scheduled meeting of Diocesan Council is January 15, 2020.

IMAGES

  • Archdeacon Leggett presents to Council
  • Dinner is served
  • Enjoying the meal before the meeting
  • Council members on the east side of the table.
  • Two of Legal Officers
  • The Reverend Robin Ruder-Celiz second on left leads Evening Prayer 
  • The Reverends Eileen Nurse and James Ducket 
  • Archdeacon Leggett presents
  • The Reverend Bryan Rivers displays the brochure on his right our left is the Reverend John Stephens and the Venerable Stephanie Shepard. Behind Interim Chief Financial Officer of the diocese, Shailene Caparas.