• “This is long overdue, with lots of thought and consideration; inclusive, respectful, well organized”
  • “It provides clarity and direction – wished we had these guidelines when we last went through a process”
  • “Carries a large workload; concern about the demands it will make on leadership time and availability of appropriate resources”

These are just a few of the many comments offered by the 275 people who attended the February consultations conducted by the Diocesan Task Force on Physical Resources in each of the five archdeaconries and on the Sunshine Coast. All but a few parishes in the Diocese were represented.

Mike Burpee chairs the Task Force on Physical Resources and wrote this report.
The purpose of the consultation was to receive feedback and advice on the draft Parish Ministry Assessment Process. This is a tool developed to assist parishes determine how best they and their resources can be organized and used to support healthy and effective ministry across the diocese.

Bishop Michael introduced each session by outlining the need for change – particularly how communities in the lower mainland and Sunshine Coast have evolved over the last 50 years while we in the Diocese of New Westminster have not kept pace. While there are some hard decisions ahead, he told us that what we have to do is not based on business or bottom line, but is gospel driven. He reminded us that we are an Easter people. We believe in the resurrection and in the new life that comes. This gives us the hope and the faith to proceed.

During the consultations participants were asked to respond to the following 3 questions:

What can you affirm about this process?

What are your concerns?

What is your advice to the Task Force?

We received a lot of very helpful responses to each of these questions. There was a lot of support particularly about the type of support some parishes would need, possible impact on ongoing ministry and what to do when some parishes might not want to participate. We also received some excellent suggestions and advice, including ensuring there are sufficient trained resources to support and assist both clergy and parishes and the need for the diocese to articulate a vision and strategic direction.

As promised at the consultations we are including a copy of the specific feedback from each of the 6 archdeaconry sessions. We are also presenting a synopsis of the input, summarized in the following seven categories:

  1. The Process
  2. Resources/Support
  3. Reluctance to Participate
  4. Vision/Strategic Direction
  5. Support For Clergy and Parishes
  6. Implementation
  7. General
Bishop Michael Ingham attended five of the six consultations to hear what people said. Here he is speaking at St. Mary's Kerrisdale to people from parishes in the Vancouver Archdeaconry.

The Task Force is now preparing the first draft of its report for Synod. We will be presenting this to Diocesan Council on April 10th. A copy will be sent to each parish and a copy posted on the website when it is ready. We are pleased to offer a pre-Synod briefing on our report and recommendations on Saturday April 21 at St. Laurence, Coquitlam from 9:30 to 12:30. At the briefing you will have an opportunity to comment on the material and offer suggestions for last minute fine-tuning. Members of Synod are particularly encouraged to attend

-Mike Burpee, Chair, Task Force on Diocesan Physical Resources

Summaries of feedback from each of the six consultation of the Task Force during February have been prepared and are available for download:

The Task Force's draft Ministry Assessment Process issued before the consultations can be found here.