The diocesan council of New Westminster has offered to provide payroll services to clergy of four dissenting parishes in the diocese to enable them to remain in the Anglican Church of Canada’s pension and benefits plan.
At its November meeting, the council heard that the adoption of new software by the church’s national pension office in Toronto means that these clergy could no longer continue with a “temporary” arrangement, which had been accommodated in 2002 when their parishes stopped making their required payment of assessment to protest the diocesan synod’s decision allowing same-sex blessings.
In 2002, the diocese co-operated with the protesting parishes when they set up their own payroll service through St. John’s Shaughnessy, one of the dissenting parishes.
Judy Robinson, executive director of the Pension Office, said the new software that the pension office has purchased cannot accommodate subgroups. She also explained that regulations of the General Synod pension plan provide that individual clergy and/or parishes can only participate through the diocese in which they are licensed.