Anglican Diocese of New Westminster
- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver was previously the Roman Catholic Diocese of New Westminster.
|Diocese of New Westminster|
|Ecclesiastical province||British Columbia and Yukon|
|Cathedral||Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver|
|Bishop||The Rt. Rev. Melissa M. Skelton|
The Diocese of New Westminster is one of five dioceses of the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and the Yukon of the Anglican Church of Canada. The See city is Vancouver. The current Bishop is the Right Reverend Melissa Skelton. Bishop Skelton was consecrated and installed March 1st, 2014. She is the 9th Bishop of the diocese, the first woman, the first American and the first person who had a previous career prior to ordination to the priesthood to be elected bishop of the 135 year old diocese. The Dean of New Westminster and Rector of the Cathedral Church, Christ Church is the Very Rev. Peter Elliott and the Executive Archdeacon of the Diocese is the Venerable G. Douglas Fenton.
The diocese encompasses about 78,000 square kilometres of the Lower Mainland in the civil province of British Columbia, comprising the Regional Districts of Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast, Powell River and part of the Regional District of Squamish-Lillooet (including Squamish and Whistler).
The Diocese was founded in New Westminster in 1879, but with the phenomenal growth of the City of Vancouver, the See city was moved there in 1912. There are, therefore, two churches styled as "cathedrals" in the diocese — Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver has been the cathedral since 1929, while Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Westminster was the cathedral from 1892 to that date. Although no longer a cathedral, the Diocesan Synod allowed Holy Trinity to keep the title "cathedral" as a courtesy for historical reasons (it is, strictly speaking, a pro-cathedral).
The diocese has 67 parishes, 68 active congregations, and approximately 18,000 members on its parish rolls according to the recent statistics stated in the official publication Topic.
The diocese has traditionally been at the forefront of progressive causes in the Anglican Communion. In 1976, the Most Rev. David Somerville was one of the first bishops of the Canadian Church to ordain women. In 2002, the diocese became the centre of an international controversy within the Anglican Communion due to its decision to bless same-sex unions. Several conservative ecclesiastical provinces in the Communion, particularly those in Africa, have severed relations with the diocese over the issue (see Anglican views of homosexuality).
Coat of Arms and Badge
The Coat of Arms and Badge are both official marks for the diocese. In practice, the crest is generally used more when the bishop is involved directly, and the badge when specifically referencing only the diocese.
The Coat of Arms, with much history behind it, was acquired by Bishop Gower in 1960.
The Badge (a blue circle, gold cross and birds over white wave) was created for the diocesan Communications Committee with the help of Robert Watt, Chief Herald of Canada and officially adopted at the 2007 Diocesan Synod
The badge is a proper heraldic symbol for use on diocesan and parish materials. It incorporates key elements of the diocesan Coat of Arms, but is less detailed, and the Badge is easier to reproduce properly than the very detailed Coat of Arms.
- Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver
- Anglican Church of Canada
- Peter Elliott
- Michael Ingham
- Sir Francis Heathcote, 9th Baronet