Anglicans worldwide have common beliefs, practices and ways of worship, which are expressed locally in many languages and customs. The whole Anglican family worldwide has more than 80 million members in 165 countries, and is known as the Anglican Communion. While each national or regional church within the Communion is autonomous, the Archbishop of Canterbury is its spiritual head and the chief sign of its unity.
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls is the head (called the “Primate”) of the Anglican Church of Canada. The Anglican Church of Canada is divided into regional areas called “dioceses”. Each diocese has its own bishop, who has responsibility for the spiritual well-being and administration of the churches within their area.
St. Thomas is part of the Diocese of New Westminster, which consists of 67 worshiping communities, serving together across the southwest part of the province of British Columbia, from the Sunshine Coast to the west to Hope located 150 kilometers east of the City of Vancouver. The Diocese of New Westminster was established in 1879. The ninth bishop of New Westminster is The Most Reverend Melissa Skelton.