The Inaugural Investiture Eucharist of The Order of the Diocese of New Westminster was celebrated in Christ Church Cathedral at 4:30pm on November 1st, 2009.
53 individuals representing 41 different parishes accepted nomination to be the first recipients of the order and 49 of those were present at the worship service to receive the medallion from the Venerable Ronald Harrison, personal congratulations from the Right Reverend Michael Ingham and the official certificate from the Very Reverend Peter Elliott while Judge Robert Watt, Warden of the Order read the citations.
The Right Reverend Ralph Spence retired Bishop of Niagara was the guest preacher and Bishop Michael presided at the Eucharist.
The Dean of the Diocese of New Westminster and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral, Peter Elliott welcomed everyone to Christ Church Cathedral and to the inaugural event and reminded all those in attendance that the order is “not so much an award for service but acknowledgement that all of us together do this work so that God’s reign on Earth continues and Christ’s name is glorified.”
All those gathered at Christ Church Cathedral for the liturgy were treated to a witty, playful, thoughtful, prayerful and thought provoking sermon by Bishop Ralph Spence.
(To listen to an audio recording of Bishop Spence's sermon click SERMON. Once at the podcast site click on the play button of the icon of a playback machine located in the upper right hand corner)
He began his sermon by extending greetings to the Diocese of New Westminster from the Diocese of Niagara also known as “Canada’s finest wine growing area.”
He went on to say that this particular worship event has two particular functions;

1. To give thanks to God for the recipients and to say thank-you to them for all the things they’ve done and the many ways they have demonstrated their faithful discipleship.

2. To recognize their vision and leadership within the church, to be inspired by it, to learn from it and to carry it forward.

At the conclusion of the Eucharist, unofficial official diocesan photographer Wayne Chose climbed up a ladder and took a number of photographs of the newly invested members of The Order of the Diocese of New Westminster.

The photo also includes: Bishop Michael Ingham on the right, Bishop Ralph Spence on the left and to the left and slightly behind Bishop Spence, Judge Robert Watt.
More photographs and a full length report including the printing of the “citations” will be available in the December issue of TOPIC, the diocesan monthly newspaper.