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Policy & Guiding Principles

Diocesan Vision Statement:
“Growing communities of faith in Jesus Christ to serve God’s mission in the world.”

Who we are:
The Diocese of New Westminster is a Diocesan family of parishes under Episcopal leadership, giving witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as part of the Anglican Church of Canada and the world-wide Anglican Communion.

How we treat each other:
The parish family supports its entire clergy in their ministry in the Diocese by:

  • Listening and responding to questions and suggestions in a friendly manner;
  • Ongoing educational and formation opportunities such as clergy days, Bishop’s retreat for clergy, clergy conference, and ministry practitioner’s group
  • Supporting ongoing training for effective pastoral leadership;
  • Supporting the continued development and education of the Clergy through the national continuing education component of the church;
  • Providing a total compensation package as outlined in the Compensation Guiding Policy.

The Clergy support their covenant with the Bishop, their ministry and the parishioners by:

  • Actively providing spiritual direction, pastoral support and leadership;
  • Being responsive to the unique pastoral and sacramental needs of the parish;
  • Providing opportunities for all members of the parish to participate in the liturgical and administrative life of the parish;
  • Providing clear communication within the parish on matters which affect Diocesan strategies and goals;
  • Being supportive of the Clergy Commitments to work collegially within the Deanery and on Diocesan Committees;
  • Participating in a Mutual Ministry Review (MMR) with the Regional Archdeacon, the Church Wardens and other members of the parish as outlined in the Clergy Commitment.

The Bishop supports the Clergy and the Parishes in ministry by:

  • Providing pastoral support to the clergy;
  • Actively supporting Deanery and Regional Archdeaconry collaboration;
  • Linking the Diocese to the wider Canadian and world-wide Anglican Communion;
  • Being a visible and active presence to clergy and parishes;
  • Providing administrative leadership.

As we value the whole person, within our ability to pay, we:

  • Recognize the value of the total compensation package, including salary, benefits, working conditions, professional development and specialized ministries;
  • Recognize differences in parish complexities and career paths;
  • Recognize differences in prior experience, education and age of entry;
  • Support our clergy in professional development and recognize educational achievements.

For some considerable time, there has been discussion about a different and better way to arrive at clergy compensation, compared to the process that has been in place in New Westminster for many years. Comprising a salary, plus various expenses, it doesn’t recognize many factors felt by clergy to be relevant components of today’s career environment. To be fair and ethical, the Diocesan Council commissioned a Human Resources Implementation Task Force to propose a new model. This version is the result of that work and was authorized for use in 2008, and in 2021 all clergy in parishes must use this system.

The New Westminster model is derived from similar models developed by other dioceses in Canada and USA. Unlike the current arrangement, this new model for New Westminster incorporates:

  • Rector/Vicar or Assistant designation
  • Ordained experience
  • Prior relevant lay experience
  • Education
  • Congregational ‘Average Sunday Attendance’ size
  • Multi-point parishes
  • Specialized ministries
  • Performance factor

With all these factors considered, the model suggests a salary range that is believed to be fair. These instructions are intended to be used as a worksheet, allowing clergy and Church Wardens to work their way through the model and then to discuss the suggested outcomes. Once consensus is reached the information is to be sent to the Payroll and Benefits Administrator at the Synod Office so that the information can be incorporated into next year’s compensation plan.

This current version of the compensation model is designed for clergy in parochial ministry.   In the case of parochial clergy working less than full time where 20% equals one day, 40% equals two days, etc., the salary will be calculated by applying the respective percentile to the salary range giving the minimum and maximum value. 

An example would be for a priest working at 40% time (2 days/week) and who falls in the points range of 400-499 and salary range of $58, 650 - $64,872 per annum, the priest’s salary range would be 40% or $23,460 - $25, 949.


Part 1 - About You:
In this part, you gather and include information about you, your prior experience, years of ministry, and education.

a. Position: you are allotted “points” based on the position you now hold.

Rector/Vicar:   300 points
Assistant:          200 points

b. Experience is valued on an accumulating basis. Occupational experience prior to ordination is also valued - on a basis where its impact diminishes over time since ordination.

Prior experience can arise from many different vocations and occupations quite unrelated to theology. Relevant experience is something that will be subjective – a barista in a coffee shop may not be prior experience, but a schoolteacher may be. In the end, you are to self-evaluate what you believe is the length of your relevant prior experience.

The table below is a composite of the prior experience and the years since ordination and shows the point basis to be allocated. To use the table, circle the number of years of prior experience you had prior to ordination (the top row of numbers). Next, look down the extreme left-hand column and circle the number of years since ordination, regardless of where it took place. Using the circled numbers, find the intersecting value within the table which are the points allotted for your combination of prior experience and years of ministry:

c. Theological Education: It is recognized that education contributes to your value and so the following points are allotted for various levels of theological education:

If you hold more than one degree, choose the higher/highest value.


Part 2 – About Your Context - Parish
We want to recognize the scope, complexity and responsibilities that go with various congregational sizes and compositions.


a. Congregation Size:  The experience of other dioceses suggests the fairest measurement of size is “Average Sunday Attendance”. If you have a mid-week service that attracts different worshippers, they may be added to the Sunday attendance. If essentially the same folks attend the mid-week service, no adjustment is made.  If you, for example, provide a monthly service to a seniors’ residence, then the average attendance there, divided by 4 (to convert to weekly) could be added to your home congregation’s attendance. If you have multiple points (locations) in your parish, additional points are also allotted (see b. below).


b. Multiple Congregations/Parishes: This part recognizes the extra effort that comes from having multiple congregations located at different locations.


Part 3 - Additional Considerations
a. Specialized Ministry is recognized as being the “extras” that some are assigned. This would include ministries which require additional gifts and/or training in the particular ministry setting such as:

  • Intentional interim ministry
  • Parish-funded and supported outreach ministry
  • Regular and ongoing parish-supported chaplaincy to an institution (e.g. hospital, care home, correctional facility, university)

Points are only assigned for specific responsibilities over and above generally accepted expectations of the clergy.

Depending upon the amount of extra work, scope, responsibility, and value that you bring to ministry through these activities allot a value between 0 and 100 points.

b. Performance: This factor is currently set at 100 points.





Conversion to salary range:
Minimum Clergy Salaries for 2021 are retained at the current 2020 scale.

Salary does not include transportation allowance nor any employment benefits such as employer contribution towards pension, extended health and dental plans, etc.


It is desirable that this exercise and subsequent discussion inform the clergy and Church Wardens of the realities of clergy life. Hopefully, agreement has been reached on a fair compensation level for 2021.  If a recommended compensation result is below these suggested values, it needs to be understood by the clergy person and Church Wardens and explained to both the person and to a designated Diocesan representative, typically the Regional Archdeacon.

Once you have read and understood all the guidelines from this page, please complete the 2021 Clergy Compensation Worksheet that can be found on the menu on the left side of this page. There is no need to submit the signed document back to the Synod Office. The system will automatically send a copy both to the Synod Office and to the parish after the form is filled out and signed.