Letters have been sent by the Diocese of New Westminster to all parishioners at the two parishes where the Diocese has invoked a church bylaw (Canon 15) to bring the parishes under more direct management by the diocese.

Commissary (Acting Bishop) Peter Elliott wrote that the Diocese has a legal responsibility to ensure that buildings held in trust for the ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada remain with this Church.

A diocese must “hold together parishes in a common mission even though there are differing theological convictions between parishes and within parishes,” he wrote, adding, “Naturally we regret that these steps have been forced on us.”

The parishes are St. Matthew’s Abbotsford and St. Matthias and St. Luke, Vancouver. Former diocesan clergy who have continued working in the parishes are Trevor Walters, Michael Stewart, and Don Gardner at St. Matthew’s, and Simon Chin at St. Matthias and St. Luke. The Diocese has repeatedly asked the clergy to leave so that new priests can be appointed and begin work.

The letters assured the parishioners at both parishes that their principled objection to holding same sex unions in their churches will continue to be respected, that all assets and memorials of the parish will be cared for, and that the Diocese continues its commitment to God’s mission in the world, “reaching out with the good news of Jesus Christ, and participating with other Canadian Anglicans in serving the world God loves.”

Elliott wrote that the diocese has again asked to meet with the former diocesan clergy to discuss “an orderly transition.”

The letter has been translated into Chinese for the convenience of Chinese-speaking Anglicans at St. Matthias and St. Luke.


The letter to the parishioners at St. Matthew’s Abbotsford can be found here.

The letter to the parishioners at St. Matthias and St. Luke (English) can be found here.

The Chinese version to parishioners at St. Matthias and St. Luke can be found here