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On Wednesday, May 8, the 2017-2019 Diocesan Council, “The Synod Between Synods”, the governing body of the diocese gathered in the Trendell Lounge at the Synod Offices/St. John’s, Shaughnessy for its final meeting.

A new Diocesan Council will be elected and some members appointed at the 119th Synod that will convene May 24 and 25 at the Italian Cultural Centre. That transitional meeting with the new Council is scheduled for June 12.

The agenda for the May 8 meeting was very full. Council discussed, deliberated and voted on a variety of matters, however, a highlight of the evening was an information component that saw the Chair of the Property Development Committee, Thomas Rowe, joined by Clergy member, the Reverend Paul Woehrle and staff support member, the Reverend Tellison Glover lead Council through a premier showing of a PowerPoint presentation describing the vision, goals and current direction of the Committee. This presentation will be also be made at Synod and the Committee members were eager to hear the questions and comments of Council in reaction to the presentation. The response was extremely positive but there were some suggestions that will serve to improve the messaging of the presentation and may help clarify some of the more complicated aspects of the work of the Committee.

Other items included a motion to enter into a new lease arrangement with St. John’s, Shaughnessy on the building at 1410 Nanton Avenue where the Synod offices are located, and the approval of criteria for the use of the re-configured funds that were approved at the previous meeting March 20. The criteria outlined is basically to provide a “user-friendly” guide for parishes applying for grants and loans from these funds. Both of these motions were carried.

These major items for deliberation were followed by more finance decisions and a number of property decisions primarily to do with leases that had been negotiated by parishes and outside groups wishing to use the parish’s facilities on an ongoing basis.

Following the receipt of financial statements and the approval of a number of appointments to the two Sessional Committees that are formed for Synod, Archdeacon Douglas Fenton went to the kitchen to pour some celebratory glasses of wine.  He was soon followed by Archbishop Skelton who assisted him in pouring and serving a glass to each Council member present that evening. When everyone had a glass of wine or a non-alcoholic alternative the archbishop offered a toast. She said that she was so grateful for the service of this Council and for its many achievements. She added that it is difficult for her to think of other people sitting round the Council tables.

But first the archbishop raised her glass and asked Council to join her in a toast in appreciation for the exemplary contribution of Recording Secretary Jan Harvey, ODNW who for the entire two years has attended meetings, taken notes and transformed them into accurate and comprehensive Minutes. Thank you Jan! All were delighted to learn that Jan has agreed to continue in this important role on the 2019-2021 Council.

Although there were some changes over the two years, the ultimate roster of the 2017-2019  Diocesan Council consisted of:

  • The Revd Arvin Amayag - Westminster Clergy Representative
  • Mr George Cadman, QC, ODNW - Chancellor
  • Ms Valerie Casselton – Capilano Lay Representative
  • The Revd Robin Ruder-Celiz – Capilano Clergy Representative
  • Ms Joan Cope, ODNW – Fraser Lay Representative
  • Ms. Caitlin Dean - Youth Representative
  • Ms Jennifer Dezell, ODNW - Legal Assessor
  • The Revd David Edgerton – Lougheed Clergy Representative, Chair of the Mission and Ministry Development Committee  (MMD)
  • The Ven Douglas Fenton – Senior Clergy Representative elected from the Archdeacons & Dean
  • Ms Sharon Grove - Vancouver Lay Representative
  • Mr Bob Hardy ODNW - Treasurer
  • Ms Jane Hope – Burrard Lay Representative                                        
  • The Ven Stephen Muir - Senior Clergy Representative elected from the Archdeacons & Dean
  • The Revd Eileen Nurse - Fraser Clergy Representative
  • Mr Donald Paul, ODNW - Registrar
  • The Revd Lucy Price – Burrard Clergy Representative
  • Ms Jade Martin-Seedhouse – Youth Representative
  • The Most Revd Melissa Skelton - Archbishop/Chair
  • Ms Sharon Taylor - Lougheed Lay Representative      


  • Mr Robert Dickson - Director of Finance & Property
  • The Revd Tellison Glover - Director of MMD
  • Mr Randy Murray - Communications Officer

Recording Secretary, Ms Jan Harvey, ODNW

And a special thanks to Bette Geddes and Associates Caterers for the great meals.

The achievements of this Council are considerable. Listing all would be a major task, however, among the decisions, processes and new projects that took place 2017-2019 were:

  • A comprehensive Diocesan Profile on the diocesan Web site
  • The re-configuring of some diocesan funds, funds that were the result of the sale of surplus properties
  • A refinement of meeting norms and the meeting evaluation process
  • Broader involvement of Council members both in meetings and in task groups connected to Council’s ministry
  • The successful evolution of email polls used to address time sensitive decisions
  • The emergence and development of the Property Development Committee
  • Diocesan Council’s ongoing support of major revisions to the Constitution, Canons and Regulations.


  • Archbishop Skelton proposes a toast to the outgoing Council and also a toast of thanks to Recording Secretary Jan Harvey, ODNW
  • Members of Council on the east side
  • The Reverend Eileen Nurse proclaims the Gospel, John 14: 8-11 during Evening Prayer
  • Donald Paul, ODNW, Registrar; George Cadman, QC, ODNW, Chancellor; Archbishop Melissa Skelton, Chair
  • Thomas Rowe and the Reverend Paul Woehrle present the Property Development Committee PowerPoint
  • Jan Harvey smiles as she listens to the words of the toast
  • The chancellor approves
  • The Reverend Robin Ruder-Celiz and Jane Hope