Anglican Church of Canada. Diocese of New Westminster. Diocesan Council

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Anglican Church of Canada. Diocese of New Westminster. Diocesan Council

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In 1967, at the 63rd session of the Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster, the Diocesan Synod decided to replace the former Executive Committee with a new committee to be called Diocesan Council. The Executive Committee was formed under the article XX of the Constitution adopted at the first meeting of the Synod, on April 18th 1882. This committee acted as an interim body of the Synod between two sessions. The Bishop was a member ex-officio of the committee. Over the years the duties and powers of the Executive Committee were defined as following: to act as agent of the Synod in the transaction of such business as the collection of monies, rents and dividends; to have the power to affix the seal of the Synod when legally required; to make a report to each annual Synod upon the work done, and to appoint all necessary officers. The Executive Committee comprised thirty-one persons - elected by Synod or appointed by the Bishop; the committee met monthly. The committee was considered a pivot committee of the Diocese. In 1965, the Synod felt that the time had come for re-apprising the Church's programs, priorities and resources and to re-structure its organization that had remained unaltered for decades. The Executive Committee initiated a survey conducted by E.W. Netten from the Price Waterhouse & Co. consulting firm (1966). The report, issued in April 1967, made numerous recommendations to give the Church more flexibility in managing its resources. The study arrived at the conclusion that the Executive Committee entered into functional program areas only from the standpoint of supplying money and people; it lacked of contacts with the main Boards of Synod and it was rather enmeshed in issues that would be better handled directly by Diocesan staff or by subsidiary committees. The Report recommended the replacement of the Executive Committee by a Diocesan Council, charged clearly with policy matters and policy orientation of all Diocesan affairs on behalf of Synod in order to deal "with all facets of the Church's mission and life; in no sense would it limit itself to, or concentrate upon, financial and property matters" (E.W. Netten Report, p.40). The Synod endorsed the recommendations and proposed the change of article VII of the Constitution as follows: "The Executive Committee, which shall hereafter be referred to as the Diocesan Council, ....shall function as the agent of Synod when Synod is not in session...The Diocesan Council shall deliberate and decide upon policy matters, approve diocesan plans, and authorize program matters, organization and personnel changes, and financial transactions deemed of sufficient importance to warrant its review. The Diocesan council shall recommend to Synod, when necessary, constitutional and canonical amendments, strategic policy decisions..." The Diocesan Council consisted of the Bishop, who was its Chairman, the archdeacons of the diocese, the Chancellor, the Registrar, the Legal Assessor, the Treasurer, Secretaries of Synod, clergy and laymen elected by Synod for a two year term. The Diocesan Council was authorized to appoint three main committees: Diocesan Strategy Committee, Diocesan Program Committee, and Diocesan Administration and Finance Committee. The Diocesan Council had to meet on a regular basis, a minimum nine times a year. The resolution adopted at the 63rd session of the Synod underwent several amendments. At the 86th session (April, 1992), it was resolved that the Diocesan Council is authorized to appoint the Communication Committee and for the Ministry and Congregational Committee, and is responsible for them; at the 94th session of Synod, held on May 1997, the power of the Diocesan Council was extended to: definition and alteration of boundaries of existing parishes; setting of boundaries for new parishes; naming new parishes; approval of incorporation, merge, split or disband of parishes (Constitution, Canon 13).


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