On May 11, 2016 Diocesan Council was presented with two "Motions to authorize." These motions would bring some significant changes to the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster.
On December 12, 2006 Diocesan Council approved the creation of the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster (ODNW). This would be an intentional way to recognize and celebrate extraordinay service by the laity of the diocese. On January 13, 2009 Diocesan Council passed Regulation 22 creating the Order. The first ceremony was held November 1, 2009 and has been held annualy at that time of year ever since.
Since the last Investiture of New Members to the ODNW held at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster the evening of November 4, 2015 there have been ongoing conversations among diocesan leadership and ODNW event coordinators about how things are working and whether or not changes are necessary.
These conversations led to a proposal to reduce the frequency of awards from every year to every two years, and it is also proposed to provide some flexibility for making awards where the recipient is in ill health and/or terminally ill.
The resolutions for Diocesan Council were split into two so that Council could vote on the two issues independently.
1. RESOLVED THAT in order to change the awarding of the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster from an annual event to a bi-annual event it is hereby resolved:
a. THAT nominations be received and awards be made the for the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster in 2016 in accordance with Regulation 22 as it is currently written.
b. THAT the nominations and ceremonies for the awarding of the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster after 2016 take place approximately every two years rather than annually.
c. THAT the legal officers ensure that amendments to Regulation 22 giving effect to the foregoing are brought to Diocesan Council for approval prior to 2017.
2. RESOLVED THAT in order to provide flexibility to the Bishop to make awards to persons who are in ill health or who are terminally ill, the legal officers be requested to bring forth amendments to Regulation 22 to:
a. Regularize the practice of the Bishop of holding small group or individual ceremonies in homes or elsewhere for awarding of the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster to persons who are for reasons of ill health or otherwise are unable to attend the regular ceremonies.
b. Give the Bishop the discretion to allow a Parish to make more than one nomination in any particular nomination cycle where in the opinion of the Bishop it would be appropriate to do so subject to such terms and conditions as the Bishop may in the Bishop’s absolute discretion choose to require or impose.
Both of these resolution were carried and now the next step is for the legal officers of the diocese to bring forth to Diocesan Council the Regulation 22 amendments before the end of 2017.
An earlier amendement to Regulation 22 was a change in the nomination submission deadline date.
The Advisory Committee on parish nominees for the ODNW met with Bishop Skleton on May 9 and 49 names have been brought forward for membership. Bishop Skelton also met with Archdeacons and the Dean of the Diocese and 9 names were brought forward for investiture as Bishop's Nominees.
The next Investiture of the New Members to the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster is scheduled for Saturday, November 5, 2016, 10:30am at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster.