A nomination from each parish for one of their members to be inducted into the new Order of New Westminster next fall is due March 31, Dean Peter Elliott has announced.

The Order has been authorized by Diocesan Council to honour people who have served as volunteers in a parish, normally over a period of at least ten years. Clergy are not eligible.

The Order may also be presented to people who have served at the diocesan level or otherwise had an impact beyond the parish.

The parish nominees will be vetted by a three-person committee, and approved by the bishop. If a parish’s nominee is turned down by the committee, the parish may nominate someone else.

The form of the award will be a medallion and a pin, designed by the Cathedral Chapter, which proposed the Order. The order is modeled after similar orders in Canadian dioceses.

Bishop Michael Ingham may in addition appoint up to ten more people to the order each year (20 more in 2009) after consulting the regional archdeacons. He is open to suggestions if a parish feels they have more than one person who should receive the honour.

Nomination forms are available on the diocesan website. (Go to Resources/Downloads and the category "Resources for Parishes.") Each nominee should consent to nomination, and each nomination carries a $25 fee to cover expenses.

The inaugural investiture service is set for November 2 at 4:30 pm at Christ Church Cathedral. Bishop Michael Ingham will preside and present the award, and Bishop Ralph Spence, recently retired Bishop of Niagara, will preach.