What is a Vestry? Originally, the word “vestry” referred to the room in the church building where clergy garments and church articles were stored and where the clergy gathered to wear their vestments in preparation for worship. Also, the laity would meet in that room from time to time to discuss the affairs of the parish. In later generations, the word “vestry” came to refer to the leaders, instead of the room. The Vestry serves many of the functions served by boards of directors or trustees of other organizations or businesses. While the Canons of the church assign spiritual and administrative responsibilities to the rector, the exercise of these responsibilities is mutual and collaborative with the vestry serving in a fiduciary capacity.
The Vestry is elected and called to:
- Exhibit faithful spirituality in worship and active participation in the communal life of the church community.
- Lead in the financial support and giving of the parish.
- Evaluate the priest and parish direction annually.
- Function as a sounding board and an impartial source of support for the rector/priest in charge
- Maintain upkeep of the church property
- Maintain liability and other forms of insurance.
- Establish short-term goals and create a vision for the parish that will require long range planning.
- Maintain a working list of parish policies, records, and vestry decisions.
Who are the Officers of the Vestry?
- The Rector/Priest-in-Charge is the Presiding Officer of the Vestry or may delegate that responsibility to the Wardens or any member of the vestry
- Each member of the vestry is elected for a three-year term. The Senior Warden serves as the vestry chairperson in the absence of the rector/priest in charge.
- The Junior Warden is responsible for the oversight of Building and Grounds.
- The Secretary is responsible for maintaining the minutes and handling Vestry correspondence.
- The Treasurer is not a member of the vestry but an integral part of the vestry.
Members of the Vestry
George Thompson, Senior Warden
Avril Butcher-Barnes, Junior Warden
David Washington, Vestry Clerk
Brenda Hill, Treasurer
Hector Nanka Bruce