Anglican Samizdat

April 30, 2009

Diocese of New Westminster: damage control in a time of disintegration

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 12:35 pm

The diocese of New Westminster has recognised that things are falling apart; their strategic plan whimpers:

Our numbers are declining at an alarming rate, and we have fewer financial resources with which to do mission. Our relevance is called into question.

A surprisingly honest assessment; the diagnosis may be accurate, but how does the diocese plan on reversing the rot?

First, no more money for parishes that can’t support themselves:

The need for a comprehensive diocesan plan has become even more urgent, with the changed economic conditions of the past several months. No longer can parishes in crisis come to diocese standing committees and be assured they will get the financial aid they may need. The money just isn’t there.

One thing we’re asking of all parishes-even before they enter into a Ministry Assessment Process-is that they undertake an honest self-assessment to discern their best future for furthering God’s mission in the world.

Regionally, we see a need for parishes to plan and work together. We are exploring a variety of alternatives to present arrangements together.

The message to parishes: succeed, consolidate or close; don’t expect the diocese to carry you.

In its quest for “relevance”, the diocese proposes – more of the same:

More specifically, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has said we should take our cue from the “Five Marks of Mission” that the whole Anglican Communion has worked out through years of study and prayer. The five marks are: to proclaim the Good News of God’s kingdom; to reach, baptize, and nurture new believers; to respond to human needs by loving service; to seek to transform unjust structure of society; and to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

The only glimmer of hope in the “five marks of mission” is the first, proclaim the good news; the glimmer is quickly extinguished, though, once one realises that Hiltz has no idea what the Good News actually is.

The rest of the marks of mission are given to nurturing others in a nebulous and undefined belief, tilting at justice windmills with MDGs and spouting eco-gobbledygook.

Diocese of New Westminster: cheerio.



  1. Besides “changed economic conditions of the past several months”, legal expenses are probably another reason (if not the main reason) the diocese has no more money to prop up needy parishes.

    Comment by Scott Gilbreath — April 30, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

  2. Well Fred XIII apply this to dioceses that freeload off the national church. Dio-Brandon took a nice piece of the pie home to prop up a declining bank account.

    Comment by Steve L. — April 30, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

  3. I like the part “Our relevance is called into question.”

    Comment by Gawk — April 30, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

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