Anglicans throughout the diocese have been asked by Diocesan Council to read and to comment on a strategic plan for the diocese’s next decade before it goes to Synod on May 22 and 23.

The strategic plan was called for at Diocesan Synod two years ago. Since then a working group has held several meetings around the diocese and developed a proposed vision and the plan, called “Plan 2018” for short.

At the Diocesan Council meeting April 15, Treasurer Jim Stewart said financial statistics trends must be reversed if the Diocese is to be vital and sustainable.

If passed at Diocesan Synod and fully implemented, Plan 2018 could significantly reshape the diocese and result in the reorganizing of the diocese’s governance and support structure and staff, and the merger or closing of several parishes.

If the plan is approved, each parish in the diocese will be required to conduct its own “fact-based and objective” parish review to determine that their parish is both “vital” and “sustainable.”

Diocesan Council appeared willing to endorse the plan at its April 14 meeting, but was asked to hold it open “for conversation” for a month.

Dean Peter Elliott, who presented the plan at the meeting, said that after comments have been received and necessary changes made, the Council will be asked at its May 12 meeting to endorse the plan and recommend it to Synod.

Meanwhile, two sessions on the Strategic Plan have been scheduled for Diocesan Synod delegates (and alternates) others interested on Saturday, May 2, from 10 am (9:30 am for coffee) to 1 pm at St. Laurence, Coquitlam, 825 St. Laurence St., and on Tuesday, May 5, from 7 to 9 pm at St. Alban's, Burnaby, 7717 19th Ave. (just off Canada Way).

A Diocesan Clergy Day at St. Dunstan, Aldergove, on Wednesday, May 6, 10 am to 2 pm, will be devoted to examining the Strategic Plan. St. Dunstan’s is at 3025 – 264th St.

A special email address has been opened where individuals and groups are invited to respond: Comments can also be mail to Strategic Plan Comments, Diocese of New Westminster, 580-401 West Georgia St., Vancouver, V6B4A1. The Strategic Planning Working Group request that comments and suggestions be sent in by May 5

Go to the Plan 2018 for a complete copy of the 36 page draft of the plan, and a ten page summary.