The Diocese of New Westminster

The Diocese of New Westminster


The Diocese of New Westminster's Mission Priorities - September 25, 2017

Our Diocesan Mission

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

Our Priorities  

Our God is a relational God. We seek to foster, build and strengthen our relationships with one another in all we do in diocesan, parish and community circles.  

Through the action of the Holy Spirit, our God creates the Church as Christ’s continuing presence in and for the world. We seek to focus diocesan energy and resources on parish development: assisting parishes in focusing on and building their excellence around their core purpose of gathering, transforming and sending; encouraging parishes to express the best of their Anglican identity; and assisting parishes in creatively engaging the real challenges and opportunities before them.    

Our God seeks justice for the oppressed. We seek to assist diocesan leaders and parishes in learning about the culture and history of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, in engaging with Indigenous peoples in their neighbourhood and regions, and in advancing the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.    

Our God delights in the diversity of humanity and yearns for all humanity to be one. We seek to increase the diversity of the leadership in our diocese and to strengthen the ability of our parishes to engage the diversity of the people in our parishes, in our neighbourhoods and in our region.  We seek the transformation of our minds, our hearts and our practice as we increase our diversity and seek the oneness that God invites us to embrace.    

Our God entrusts us with the stewardship of our lives and our communities. We seek to work on the overall sustainability of our diocese and of our parishes by attending to the fit between all the elements of diocesan or parish life (finances, property, priorities, processes, organizational structures, organizational culture, external relationships, etc.) We seek to nurture a diocesan culture that is more transparent, collaborative, consultative, courageous and in which people have greater choice.


The Diocese of New Westminster consists of 69 (66 active parishes and 3 emerging faith communities) worshiping and serving communities in mission together across the southwest part of the province of British Columbia from the Sunshine Coast to the west to Hope located 150 kilometres east of the City of Vancouver.

It is divided into 6 archdeaconries and 11 regional deaneries. It was established in 1879. The eighth bishop of New Westminster the Rt. Rev. Michael Ingham resigned August 31st, 2013, after nearly 20 years of servant-leadership.

At an Electoral Synod held at the Cathedral Church of the Diocese, Christ Church on November 30th, 2013, the Reverend Canon Melissa Skelton of the Diocese of Olympia in Washington State was elected. She was consecrated and installed the Right Reverend Melissa M. Skelton the 9th Bishop of New Westminster on March 1st, 2014.

The Diocesan mission statement is "Growing communities of faith in Jesus Christ to serve God's mission in the world." 

Governance & Council

The Governance of the Diocese of New Westminster is done at Synod by Synod and by Diocesan Council.

Diocesan Council is the decision making, governing body of the Diocese of New Westminster consisting of: Diocesan Officers (Bishop, Chancellor, Treasurer); 2 of the aggregate 9 from the following group in parenthesis (Dean of the Diocese, the 6 Archdeacons, the Director of Deacons and the Executive Archdeacon); one of the two additional Diocesan Legal Officers, (Registrar or Legal Assessor); Archdeaconry reps, one lay, one ordained, total of 12 and 2 youth delegates.

An Archdeaconry is a group of churches, geographically affiliated and the reps are elected at the Synod Meetings. Synod Staff also attend meetings but are members of Diocesan Council with voice but no vote; they include: Business Administrator, the Executive Archdeacon if she or he has not been chosen as a voting member and the Director for Mission and Ministry Development (and other staff as required).

Diocesan Synod consists of all the eligible clergy in the Diocese of New Westminster (Resolution 1 passed May 23rd, 2014 at the 115th Synod, view below) and 2-6 lay people elected from each diocesan parish proportionate to the size of the parish community. Diocesan Council functions as the Synod between Synods, it is a representation of the large group that meets bi-annually.

Diocesan Council and Diocesan Synod are both chaired by the Bishop. Diocesan Council is adjourned for the months of July and August.

The Diocesan Profile assembled to provide information to prospective candidates for bishop in advance of the November 30th, 2013, Electoral Synod. View the full Diocesan Profile below.

Available Files to Download

To download, right-click the file and select "Save link as".

Upcoming Events

Anti-Racism Training 2018-2019

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Multiple Dates

Archbishop's Retreat for Clergy

November 5 - 7, 2018

Clergy Day - Attachment Theology

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ordinations in the Holy Church of God

Saturday, December 1, 2018



Harvest Thanksgiving Selects

The communications office of the Diocese of New Westminster received a number of photographs October 8 and 9 that highlight some Harvest Thanksgiving decorations. We also did a brief trip around social media sites... Read More

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Updated: Clergy News Around the Diocese - September 2018

Archbishop Skelton has appointed the Reverend Dr. Richard Leggett as Archdeacon of Westminster effective October 1, 2018. Richard succeeds the Venerable Elizabeth Northcott who is the new Rector of St Mark, Qualicum... Read More


The "Glue" That Holds it Together

They are the front line, the faces of parishes, in Archbishop Skelton’s view they are “the glue” that holds the parish and in fact the larger church together, they are parish administrators. The first ever Parish... Read More


Dean Peter Elliott Announces Retirement Date

Christ Church Cathedral's rector, Dean Peter Elliott, now 24 years on the job, has told parishioners he will retire in one year’s time, shortly after he attends his ninth General Synod, here in Vancouver next July.... Read More


September 2018 Staff Meeting

The Synod Staff of the Diocese of New Westminster convened for their first monthly staff meeting following the 2018 summer hiatus on Wednesday, September 5 at 10am in the Trendell Lounge, the meeting area shared by... Read More


David H. Gifford-Cole (Priest)

The Reverend David H. Gifford-Cole (Priest) March 27 1930 to August 22 2018 Born March 27, 1930 in the United Kingdom, the Reverend David Gifford-Cole died August 22, 2018 in Courtenay, BC. He was predeceased in... Read More

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Clergy News Around the Diocese - August 2018

A Celebration of New Ministry will take place at St Alban, Richmond on Wednesday, September 5 when the Reverend Paula Porter Leggett is licensed as Vicar. The Archdeacon of Westminster, the Venerable Elizabeth... Read More

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Topic 50th Anniversary Planning Continues

Here are a couple of photos from the Topic 50th Anniversary team summer meeting held July 19, 2018. At the meeting more details were developed about the commemorative issue which the team hopes will be assembled by... Read More

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Clergy News Around the Diocese for Mid-July 2018

The Reverend Stephanie Shepard has been appointed Interim Priest-in-Charge of St Faith, Vancouver effective August 16. Stephanie will complete her current appointment as Interim Priest-in-Charge of St John the... Read More


Heralds of the Kingdom - Ordinations 2018

During Archbishop Skelton’s sermon preached at the Ordination Eucharist, Saturday, June 23, 2018, the Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist (transferred) she spoke about the feast day beginning with these two... Read More

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Clergy News for June 2018

Archbishop Skelton has appointed the Reverend Vivian Lam as Regional Dean of Granville effective July 1st. Vivian is Rector of St Matthias/St Luke, Oakridge and will succeed the Revd Richard Leggett. The Reverend... Read More


UPDATE - Ordinations in the Holy Church of God

Live Streaming Will Be Available - Many thanks to the Cathedral Communications Team. Updated parking information for the June 23 Liturgy: Arrangements have been made for a special rate at the Park Place Parkade for... Read More


June Staff Meeting

It is hard to believe that we are already almost half-way through 2018 and that reality was brought home at the June staff meeting of the Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster, held on June 6. The June meeting is... Read More


Clergy News Around the Diocese for June 2018

The Archdeacon of Westminster and rector of All, Saints, Ladner, the Venerable Elizabeth Northcott has signified to the Archbishop that she will resign her archdeaconry and parish with September 23 her last Sunday.... Read More


Diocese of Calcutta Reps Visit Nanton Avenue

At lunch hour on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, Archbishop Melissa Skelton and the Synod Staff welcomed some visitors from the Diocese of Calcutta of the Church of North India. The visitors were the Bishop and Chair of... Read More


Alfred James Hosking, Priest

Alfred James Hosking, Priest January 12, 1928 to May 12, 2018 Archdeacon Al Hosking died at age 90 at the Peace Arch Hospice in White Rock. He was predeceased by his wife, Beverley, in 2014.   Al is survived by his... Read More

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Reverend Richard Leggett Appointed to Holy Trinity Cathedral

It was announced at both parishes on Sunday, May 13, 2018 that the Reverend Dr. Richard Leggett, rector of St. Faith’s in southwest Vancouver and regional dean of the Granville Deanery will be leaving his ministry... Read More


Happy 50th Birthday to TOPIC

A Productive and Turbulent Half-Century in the Diocese For some readers, it must seem that Topic has been around forever, but, in fact, this publication is a mere fifty years old. (Only those of us who constitute... Read More


Clergy News Around the Diocese for Early May 2018

On Sunday, April 29 it was announced at St. Catherine’s, Capilano and at St. Agnes, North Vancouver that Bishop Skelton in agreement with the canonical committee has appointed the Reverend Sharon Smith, Vicar of St.... Read More


Wardens and Treasurers Training Day 2018

Approximately 75 wardens, treasurers and priests in charge representing a significant percentage of diocesan parishes gathered for the 2018 edition of the Wardens and Treasurers Training Day at the Synod Office in... Read More