The Churchwardens shall have equal status and responsibility in the congregation in which they serve. In the exercise of their general responsibilities they shall act jointly. They shall act in consultation with the Incumbent and the Vestry of the congregation in the advancement of the Kingdom of God in that congregation. They shall exercise leadership, and with the Incumbent act as executive officers of the Vestry of the congregation in the supervision of all matters relating to that congregation; and they shall have general responsibility for all matters relating to the congregation that are not expressly the responsibility of the Bishop or the Incumbent.
Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Churchwardens shall:
Leadership in Church life
- give leadership in the congregation by regular worship, example, and stewardship;
- provide at the expense of the congregation all things needed for the worship of Almighty God in the congregation, including appropriate furnishings, vesture, books, and, where there is no Parish Council, registers for the recording of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials;
- cause order to be preserved during services of worship;
- share with the Incumbent responsibility for ensuring that the Church is not used for any improper or profane purpose;
- where there is no Parish Council, make arrangements to provide services of worship and pastoral care as required when there is no Incumbent, or if the Incumbent is absent or incapacitated;
Work of the Church
- co-operate with the Incumbent in the initiation, conduct, and development of Church work within the congregation;
- use their respective best efforts to carry out all lawful resolutions adopted at meetings of the Synod, the congregation, and the Vestry;
- bring to the attention of the Incumbent any matter pertaining to the congregation they consider requires the Incumbent's attention;
- make jointly with the Incumbent on behalf of the congregation all contracts which have been approved by a meeting of the congregation or by the Vestry;
- report their Incumbent to the Bishop, or, if there is no Bishop, to the Administrator of the Diocese, if the Incumbent is irregular in the performance of duty, immoral in behaviour, or unsound in doctrine;
- exercise leadership in raising the revenue necessary for the operations of the Church, including the payment of all salaries and benefits;
- be responsible for the safe custody and accurate recording of all money received in the congregation for the work of the Church;
- be jointly responsible with the Incumbent for the proper disposition of all money received in the congregation for the work of the Church, subject to the approval of the Vestry; Cn. 5 Page 4 Revised & Updated 2011
- where there is no Parish Council, cause the stipend of the Incumbent and any Curates to be paid punctually, such stipends being the first charge upon the funds of the parish;
- where there is no Parish Council, cause the parish's assessment to the Diocese to be paid in accordance with diocesan policy, such assessments being the second charge upon the funds of the parish;
- cause all salaries and accounts which are the responsibility of the congregation to be paid, such payment having first been authorized and approved by the Vestry where necessary;
- give an account, duly audited, at the Annual Congregational Meeting of all money received and disbursed in the congregation for the work of the Church in the preceding year;
- where there is no Parish Council, send to the Diocesan Office annually, no later than April 30, Financial Returns for the preceding year;
- on retiring from office give a correct account of all financial transactions of the congregation for which they had been responsible, and deliver up to their successors the property of the Church which had been in their possession; Church Property
- keep the Church and other buildings of the congregation, and, where there is no Parish Council, the rectory and other parochial buildings, in a good state of repair and cleanliness, and insured in accordance with diocesan policy;
- in the absence of a duly constituted Cemetery Committee, see that every cemetery pertaining to the congregation is decently fenced and well ordered;
- where there is no Parish Council, take charge of the rectory and other Church property during a vacancy in the position of Incumbent;
- see that the grounds of the Church and parish hall, and, where there is no Parish Council, the grounds of all parochial buildings, are properly cared for and kept in good condition
Duties of Vestry
Work of the Church
- To advise and assist the Incumbent and Churchwardens in the management of the affairs of the Church in that congregation, and in such other matters as may be referred to it;
- To consider any proposal which may be put forward for the development or improvement of the work of the Church in that congregation, and by resolution to declare its opinion on such proposal; Finances
- To set up a budget for the congregation for the forthcoming financial year, to take steps to secure money to meet such budget, and to give prior approval to major expenditures;
- To assist the Churchwardens in the collection of offerings and contributions for the work of the Church;
- To scrutinize all expenditures and accounts pertaining to the congregation; Cn. 5 Page 6 Revised & Updated 2011
- To appoint auditors to audit the financial records of the congregation at the end of the year; Property
- To consider all proposals for the erection, alteration, or repair of the Church and parish hall, and, where there is no Parish Council, of other parochial property, or of Church or other furniture or furnishings pertaining to the congregation;
- To employ, where deemed necessary, a Church Secretary, verger, sexton, caretaker, and other staff, and fix their remuneration; Committees
- Where there is no Parish Council, to appoint a Parochial Committee in accordance with Canon 3: Ministry: Ordained and Lay.
- To appoint Nominating Committee to propose names for the various elective positions for the Annual Congregational Meeting.
Meetings of the Vestry
- The Vestry shall meet at least twice a year. The meeting shall be called by the Incumbent, or, if someone other than the Incumbent Chairs the Vestry, by the elected Chair in consultation with the Incumbent. A meeting shall be called at the written request of at least five members of the Vestry.
- (b) A quorum for a business meeting of a Vestry shall be fifty percent of the members plus one, consisting of the Rector, one Warden, and at least one half of the elected members. If there is no Incumbent in the Parish, a quorum for a business meeting of the Vestry shall include both Church Wardens of the congregation.
A Quorum for any Meeting of a Parish Committee other then the Vestry shall be 50% of the Committee Members plus one.
The Churchwardens shall, with the consent of the Incumbent, have power at any time to call a meeting of the Vestry; and they shall do so at any time upon the request of the Incumbent, or, in the absence of the Incumbent, of the curate. If the Incumbent is not the Chair of the Vestry they shall call the meeting in consultation with the Incumbent and the elected Chair.