Canonical Committee


Canonical Committee Update – October 28, 2016

The Canonical Committee has met / been meeting at least once a month since our last report. Since our last report we asked the parish to involved themselves in 2 sets of questionnaires and we had a series of three consecutive Sundays where we asked parishioners to help us tell “The Parish Story: Past, present and future wishes”. The Canonical Committee is now in a process of reviewing this information as we begin work on developing our parish profile that will eventually advertise for a parish Vicar.

The Parish has since the Rev. Gary Hamblin’s retirement from St. Stephen’s operated on Sunday Supply with various clergy from around the diocese coming to take Sunday Eucharist –our thanks to them for their support and ministry.

In the meantime, the Synod Office has advertised for a ½ time Interim Priest-in-Charge that would come to the parish in a care-taker, temporary role to see the parish through until we are able to hire a Vicar. The Canonical Committee has in that time interviewed, as forwarded from the Synod Office, interested candidates for the position of “temporary Priest-in-Charge” and has asked Bishop Melissa to appoint the Rev. Dr. April Stanley to the position. Rev. Dr. April Stanley will start in the parish on/around November 1, 2016 and brings with her special gifts in interim ministry.

Respectfully submitted,

Dave Nash,

Bishop’s Warden.



Canonical Committee Update – August 3, 2016

Dear friends,

The following is an update from you Canonical Committee. The Canonical Committee last met on the evening of July 28.

At this meeting, we dealt with some housekeeping matters, of which David Nash was chosen as Chair and Sharon Mack as Vice Chair and Sara Shaw as Recorder in the Canonical Committee. Two members from the committee will be chosen at a later date as required when it becomes necessary to go to the Synod Office and review applicants with the bishop.

Following on our last meeting with Archdeacon Karen Urquhart, the Canonical Committee feels that offering the Meyers-Briggs test to the parish (this has been discussed also at Parish Council previously) will be a good way for people to gain a better understanding of themselves and their neighbors and as a way to help avoid future conflict. It was decided that we would set aside a couple nights in October and invite the parish to join us (numbers will be limited however due to the nature of this event). There will be an approximate cost of $30/person and we will confirm dates with Archdeacon Karen.

At present we are looking to fill the clergy role with ½ half time priest, also known as a Vicar. The committee talked about the fact that the ideal goal would be to have a full time priest. It is not financially feasible at this time, however, it may be possible for the parish to afford ¾ time in the future. This would require some work on Stewardship and commitment from the parish to make it happen.

Several other costs also factor in with having a new priest, not the least of which is that we are responsible for all moving costs and need to budget accordingly.

In order to advertise for a new Priest we have to write a Parish profile but to do that, we need information from the parish. So, at this point the Canonical Committee is in a “fact or information gathering mode”. We have asked parishioners to visit other parishes over the summer so that they can get a ‘feel’ for what other parishes and clergy are doing and then we have asked them to complete a “Mystery Worshipper” questionnaire –this questionnaire will be run over July and August. The next set of questions will relate to what people like and dislike about St. Stephen’s. We will also be working with parishioners in September to help us write the ‘past, present and future’ story of St. Stephen’s. It is important that all parishioners avail themselves of these opportunities to provide us with information as we work to shape the future of St. Stephen’s ministry. It was also decided that we would work to provide the questions where possible in both written and electronic format as well as options in other languages.

The Canonical Committee next plans to meet in late August to further work on our information gathering plans.

Update submitted by,

Dave Nash



As the Rev. Gary Hamblin’s term here at St. Stephen’s draws to a close (ending July 31, 2016), the Bishop has called a Canonical Committee into order. A Canonical Committee is generally called when a Parish becomes vacant, and so begins the process to seek out a replacement priest as directed by the guidelines of the diocese. Once a Canonical Committee is “called” it remains in effect until its mandate is complete.

The Bishop holds the license of all clergy in the diocese, and so licenses clergy to operate in parishes. Likewise the Bishop is ultimately responsible for the Canonical Committee.

The Canonical (Search) Committee, as directed by Diocesan Canon 14, Division 4: 1441 “…shall consist of the Church Wardens (associate Wardens if any), the Lay Delegates, and Alternate Lay Delegates [as elected by the Parish at their most recent Annual Vestry Meeting]…”

Therefore the Canonical Committee at St. Stephen’s consist of:

Archdeacon, the Venerable Karen Urquhart – ex officio, providing guidance and oversight on behalf of the Bishop
Bishop’s Warden David Nash
People’s Warden Sharon Mack
Lay Delegate Colleen Butterley
Alternate Lay Delegates Sara Shaw and Gail Koombes

The Committee shall create a “Parish Profile” to advertise the requirements of the parish to aid in the search of an incumbent. The members of the parish are invited to help by filling out the questionnaires below. Both surveys are available online, or as paper copies at the church.

“Mystery Worshipper” questionnaire
You can complete the survey online, part 1 and part 2 (please note that these are two parts of the same survey, we’d need both completed). You can also print the questionnaire form here. This survey is due August 31st.

Planning questionnaire 
Tell us your story at St. Stephen’s! What do you think about the parish? What kind of a priest would you like to see here? You can print the questionnaire in English, in Chinese, or in Farsi. This survey is due September 25th.


“Rector” (Anglican-Episcopal church) a member of the clergy in charge of a parish (CEO/Leader) working at full-time.

“Vicar” (Anglican-Episcopal Church) a member of the clergy in charge of a parish (CEO/Leader) working at anything less than full-time.

We will post updates of the Canonical process here as the process goes on. We are hoping to have a new priest in place early in 2017; until then, the Sunday services and other church functions continue as usual with temporary clergy.