Anglican Church

In Canada, our church is called the Anglican Church of Canada.  We belong to a world-wide network of Anglican Christians from 160 countries.  While the church is known as either the Anglican or Episcopal Church, depending on the region, Anglican Christians are part of the wider Anglican Communion, unified under the symbolic leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury in England.

Anglican Church of Canada

The Anglican Church of Canada is divided into regional groupings called “dioceses”.  Each diocese has its own bishop (or bishops), who have the overall responsibility for the spiritual well-being and administration of the churches within the area.

In Canada, about 800,000 Anglicans worship in 31 dioceses, from Vancouver Island to Iqaluit, Nunavut, to St. John’s, Newfoundland. The senior Archbishop of the national church is called the “Primate”.

Primate of ACoC National Governance

Canadian Diocesan Map

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In the Anglican Church of Canada, all baptized Christians are considered “ministers”. We have three types of ordained ministers: deacons, priests, or bishops.

Deacons serve as a bridge between church and community.  Often employed outside the church, deacons help to interpret the needs and concerns of society to church leaders and help to support and nurture church members.  There are two kinds of deacons -- Transitional deacons, who serve in this role for an interim period before being ordained to the priesthood, and Vocational deacons, who choose the diaconate as a lifelong ministry.

The priest serves as a pastor and teacher to members of the church, leads worship, preaches, and supports members of the congregation as they reach out into their community.  Some priests find their vocation in a non-church setting, such as a hospital, university or prison chaplaincy. 

Bishops are elected by priests and lay people.  They provide leadership and care for congregations and serve as a link with the mission and ministry of the national and international church and with other faith traditions. 

When bishops are elected to exercise oversight for a larger constituency within the church, such as an Ecclesiastical Province or as head of a national church, they receive the title Archbishop.

Our Diocese
The Diocese of New Westminster

We consist of 62 parishes and 4 worshiping communities serving in mission together across the southwest part of the province of British Columbia from the Sunshine Coast to the west to Hope located 150 km east of the City of Vancouver, the traditional unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples.

The Diocese of New Westminster is episcopally led (bishop) and synodically governed (clergy and lay delegates). 

  • Diocesan Synod consists of all the eligible clergy and elected lay delegates in the Diocese. It meets biannually to conduct the business of the diocese.
  • Diocesan Council is the decision making, governing body between Synods
  • Representatives to Diocesan Council are elected at Synod and come from archdeaconries which are regional groups of churches.
  • Both the Diocesan Council and Synod are chaired by the Bishop
Diocesan Handbook

To assist with pastoral care and administration, dioceses are divided into smaller groupings called Archdeaconries and Regional Deaneries. The Diocese of New Westminster has six Archdeaconries and eleven Regional Deaneries.

Interactive Regional Map Role of Archdeacon and Dean