Diocesan Council

Between the annual meetings of Synod, Diocesan Council provides leadership, direction and oversight. With the purpose of supporting our parishes and the Diocese as they fulfill the mission of God, Council is responsible for overseeing the implementation of strategic plans, stewarding diocesan resources, and governing the Diocese.

Accountability
In partnership with the Bishop, Diocesan Council is accountable to Synod and has responsibility for the Diocese as defined in the Canons, By-laws and Regulations.

In particular, Diocesan Council is accountable, either directly or through its committees, for:

  • developing long term goals and plans for the development of the Diocese, as well as mechanisms to review progress against the strategic plan and other Diocesan goals
  • providing overall strategic guidance to the Diocese including endorsing the strategic direction, priorities and allocation of resources in line with the strategy
  • monitoring and assessing performance against key targets and objectives
  • developing and maintaining principles and processes for effective governance
  • ensuring there is effective management of finances and risk
  • providing advice on and assisting with the engagement of parishes and parishioners as well as members of the broader community
  • approving policies and practices for the Diocese and recommending modifications to Canons, By-laws and Regulations to Synod.

Responsibilities of members
All members of Diocesan Council have a basic duty to discharge individual duties in good faith. While the Diocese seeks a council reflective of diverse experiences and perspectives, Council members are responsible for acting on behalf of the Diocese as a whole when making a decision. Members are required to address and report potential conflict-of-interest situations in accordance with Diocesan policy. Members are expected to prepare for and attend Council meetings and serve on at least one committee.

It is the responsibility of all members of Council to act as partners with the Chair and to work with other Council members so that Council functions as a deliberative and participative body. The Chair is expected to facilitate effective and collaborative debate of the issues and suggestions brought forward to Council. Whatever views and opinions are shared in Council, members are expected to impartially represent the actions or decisions of Council to others.

Members of Diocesan Council are members of Synod for the duration of their term on Diocesan Council.

Council operations
Agenda: The agenda is set by the Chair and supported by the Lay Secretary and Clerical Secretary.

Decision-making authority: Council exercises the authority granted to it in the Canons, By-laws and Regulations, and by the discretion of the Bishop. Council retains the right to make decisions except where it has expressly delegated decision-making authority to one of its committees or a member of the diocesan staff. Committees may not further sub-delegate authorities without the permission of Council. Council appoints the chairs of its committees from the current membership of the Council.

Documents: All Council meeting documents normally are provided to Council members for review at least one week in advance of the Council meeting date. All items for the agenda are to be received by the Lay Secretary and Clerical Secretary at least fourteen days prior to the date of the meeting.

Frequency: Diocesan Council meets formally four to six times per year. The Bishop may request additional meetings if deemed necessary.

Quorum:
Meetings require a quorum of 11 of the 19 voting Council members to be present. Council members are expected to actively participate in meetings including attending council meetings, reviewing meeting documentation, evaluating reports, and reading minutes. The Lay Secretary and Clerical Secretary attend ex officio (non-voting). Staff members attend as required, as resource persons or presenters.

Committees
Diocesan Council has six active committees: Audit, Community Ministry, Governance, Outreach, Parish Ministry, Property and Finance.

Responsibilities of members: All members of committees have responsibility for discharging their individual duties in good faith. While the Diocese seeks committees reflective of the diverse experiences and perspectives of the Diocese, committee members are to act on behalf of the Diocese as a whole, when making a decision. Members are required to address and report potential conflict-of-interest situations in accordance with diocesan policy. Members are expected to prepare for and attend committee meetings. It is the responsibility of all members of committees to act as partners with the committee chairperson and to work with other committee members so that the committee functions as a deliberative and participative body. The committee chair is expected to facilitate effective and collaborative debate of issues and suggestions brought forward to the committee. Whatever views and opinions are shared in committee, members are expected to impartially represent the actions or decisions of the committee to others outside of the committee.

Attendance: Meetings require a quorum of 60% of the voting committee members to be present. Committee members are expected to participate actively in meetings, including attending meetings, reviewing meeting documentation, evaluating reports, and reading minutes.

Decision-making authority: The committee exercises the authorities granted to it in the Canons, By-laws and Regulations, and authorities that may be granted to it at the discretion of Diocesan Council and the Bishop. Committees may not further sub-delegate authorities without the permission of Council.

Documents: All meeting documents are normally provided to members for review at least one week in advance of the meeting date. All items for the agenda are to be with the supporting staff member at least fourteen days prior to the date of the meeting.

Leadership: The Chair is normally a member of Diocesan Council, selected by Diocesan Council. The Vice-chair is selected by the Chair from the committee membership and need not be a member of Diocesan Council.

Policies and practices: As appropriate, committees establish internal rules and procedures, policies, and practices.

Reporting: Committees report to Council through the Chair.

Staff and other attendance: Staff members are assigned to committees, to attend and provide support as required. The Bishop is ex officio a member of all standing committees and may attend as a member or otherwise. At the invitation of the Bishop, any Coadjutor, Suffragan or Assistant Bishop of Ottawa may likewise attend any committee meetings.

Subcommittees: Generally there are 3-6 members per subcommittee with the addition of ex officio members as required. Membership qualifications and lists of candidates are established by the committee, based on interest and special skills required. Membership consists of a mix of committee and non-committee members, with at least 50% of subcommittee members being committee members.

Terms: Members serve for a fixed term not to exceed three years, with a limit of two consecutive terms total-except where a specific role dictates the ongoing membership of a person on a committee.

Foundations
Diocesan Council has responsibility for the Cathedral Hill, Church Extension and Cornerstone foundations


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