The purpose of all structures and processes of the Church is to serve the koinonia, the trinitarian life of God in the Church, and to help all the baptised embrace and live out Christ's mission and ministry in the world. Through baptism each person is called to live the new life in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and is anointed with grace to do so in communion with all members of the same Body of Christ. (Virginia Report, Ch. 5.1)
The churches of the Anglican Communion may be said to be episcopally led and synodically governed. (Virginia Report, Ch. 5.11) In the Diocese of Montreal, our understanding of this is embodied in our Constitution and Canons — the church laws that order our common life.
Below you'll find information on our Constitutions and Canons, Diocesan Council and Standing Committees.
Constitutions and Canons
The Constitutional Role of the Diocesan Council - Summary
The role of Council is found in the Constitution & Canons of the diocese.
- The Council, in conjunction with the Bishop, shall on behalf of the Synod deliberate and decide upon policy direction of all diocesan affairs.
- It shall develop the broad lines of diocesan policy and shall ensure that all diocesan officers, committees and boards work within the framework of that policy.
- All matters belonging to the jurisdiction of the Synod, including the administration and management of its property, shall be vested in the Council.
- The Council, in cooperation with the Treasurer and the Administration and Finance Steering Committee, shall prepare and present to the annual meeting of the Synod, a recommended Diocesan budget of revenue and expenditure for the following year.
- The Treasurer shall be accountable to the Council with respect to his work as defined in the Constitution. The Council must deal with any actual financial result which deviates from the Annual budgeted amounts by more than 10% in any category of revenue or expenditure.
- All capital expenditures or loans to churches from funds belonging to, or in the care or custody of the Synod, shall be subject to the approval of the Council when such amounts fall between $10,000 and $100,000; amounts in excess of $100,000 shall be subject to the approval of Synod.
- It shall be the duty of the Council to consider and deal with all matters referred to it by the Synod.
- All committees and boards set up by the Synod shall be responsible to the Council and shall submit reports when requested, including annually, to Synod.
- The Council shall have power to delegate specific functions to such persons as it may designate; these persons need not be members of Synod.
- The Council may recommend constitutional and canonical amendments and policy decisions to Synod.
The Role of the Diocesan Council and its Members
In the exercise of its constitutional responsibilities, Diocesan Council sees the following roles as being most significant:
- To be ambassadors for change.
- To provide leadership and vision: To seek God’s Vision; to hold a vision of God’s mission before the church; to develop a vision.
- To represent and communicate.
- To set general policy.
- To supervise: budget and financial controls, policy implementation, vision implementation, accountability.
As a member of Diocesan Council, I need prayerfully to:
- Prepare, attend, listen, learn, and contribute in the council process, in meetings and between meetings.
- Communicate/dialogue with other Council members, and with parishes, deaneries, and other groups.
- Insist on having information; actively work to be well-informed.
- Commit time to council matters; time to reflect on proposals.
- Be accountable for my decisions, Council’s decisions, and my role in council proceedings.
- Act in the best interests of the whole Diocese.
Diocesan Council Minutes
The Diocesan Council Minutes will be available on a password-protected page every month.
Click here to access the Minutes.
The four Standing Committees, on behalf of Diocesan Council, exercise general jurisdiction in, and have responsibility and authority for, the articulation, coordination, promotion, and supervision of that portion of Council's work assigned to them.
- The Finance Standing Committee focuses on budget, stewardship and financial growth, investment, property, and accounting policy of the Synod.
- The Nominating Standing Committee makes recommendations to Diocesan Council concerning membership in committees of the Diocese.
- The Standing Committee on Mission ensures that the parishes of the Diocese are informed, challenged, and encouraged to be active in the areas of social justice and peace, service to the community, partnerships with the worldwide church, and the stewardship of creation.
- The Human Resources Standing Committee conducts and supervises all pertinent work concerned with human resources and benefits, provides advice and counsel to the Bishop who acts as the de facto CEO of the Synod Office, and reports to Council as required.