Anglican Parishes will during the month of December have Elections for Parish Administrators better known as Vestry members to serve for the period January 01 2017 to December 31 2018.
On December 31, 2016 the term of office for current vestries will end. This means that on two Sundays in December 2016 all Parishes will be electing members to serve on the Parish’s Vestry for the next two year term January 01 2017 to December 31 2018.
The Vestry elections are very important; the Parishioners elected to serve on the Vestry have very important responsibilities to undertake with respect to looking about the Parish’s properties and making sure that the Parish’s funds are spent properly. This brochure is published to educate Parishioners so that they can make very informed choices in electing hard working and committed Vestries.
WHY DO PARISHIONERS HAVE TO ELECT PARISH VESTRIES?
* The Diocesan Regulations demand that every Parish must have a Vestry.
WHO MAKES UP THE VESTRY?
* The Vestry is made up of the Clergy of the Parish, two Wardens and not more than seven (7) other members.
WHAT ARE THE FUNCTIONS OF THE VESTRY?
* The Parish Vestry has six (6) main functions:
** to see about how the Parish’s
money is spent.
** to make arrangements for the
repair, maintenance and upkeep of all Parish lands, buildings and other property such as car.
** to provide proper furniture
for the church building so that worship can be done decently and in order.
** to make certain that the
Parish’s rectory and office have suitable furnishings and equipment.
** to provide for the relief of the
poor and needy of the Parish.
** to determine from time to
time how much to pay the persons whom the Parish hires such as the Sexton/Verger.
WHAT WORK DO THE WARDENS DO?
* The Parish’s Vestry has two Wardens – the People’s Warden and the Priest’s Warden. They have eight (8) functions:
** to supervise all work that
the vestry has agreed to undertake.
** to control and make
arrangements for the seating of persons at worship.
** to provide what is needed for
for the services of the Church.
** to assist in collecting the
** to keep order in the
** to be available to the Parish
Priest for consultation and advice. The People’s Warden shall act as a liaison between the Parishioners and the Parish Priest and Vestry. The Priest Warden shall be a special adviser to the Parish Priest.
** to do all things that the
Diocesan Regulations call for or any thing that the Diocesan Bishop may require from time to time
** to keep a record of all Parish
property and to certify that record when a Priest is leaving and when a new clergy has come into the Parish.
WHO MAY VOTE FOR NEW MEMBERS OF THE VESTRY AND WHO CAN BE
VOTED UNTO THE VESTRY?
* Every baptized and confirmed member
of the Parish who is eighteen (18) years and over, takes communion at least once per month and has stewardship in the Parish can vote for and be voted for at Vestry elections.
HOW DOES THE ELECTION PROCESS TAKE PLACE?
* Those for election have to be nominated before hand. The names of all who have been nominated are then printed on a ballot paper and members who qualify to vote tick off the Parishioners whom they would like to serve on the Vestry.
HOW IS A PERSON NOMINATED?
* This is done in writing on forms
provided by the Parish’s Office. The Nomination Form contains the following information:-
We nominate (name of Parishioner nominated)
Moved (name of person moving nomination)
Seconded (name of person seconding nomination)
Signature (the person nominated must sign to say he/she has agreed to serve).
The completed nomination form has to be returned to the Parish Office by a stipulated time.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE TIME OF ELECTION?
* On the first election Sunday in December, the Parishioners shall elect the People’s Warden. Then on Second election Sunday in December Parishioners shall elect not less than five (5) other members to serve on the Parish’s Vestry for the period January 01, 2017 to December 31, 2018.
* The Parish Priest will appoint the Priest Warden and two other members to complete the full Vestry.
WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP AFTER THE ELECTION HAS TAKEN PLACE?
On the first Sunday in January 2017, the members of the new Vestry will be installed in office. At the first meeting of the new Vestry the members will elect a treasurer, secretary and two Lay representatives (one adult and one youth) to Diocesan Synod. The Lay representatives to Diocesan Synod are the persons who would officially represent the Parish when there is a synod. They will also vote for the Parish if the Diocese is electing a Bishop.
WHAT ARE PARISHIONERS TO DO IN PREPARATION FOR VESTRY ELECTION?
* Begin to think, pray about and get ready
for the 2017 Vestry elections:- Ask God to guide you to play a positive role in the process. Be sure that you are on the Parish’s Electoral Role (Financial Stewardship Register); become a communicant member of the Parish.
* Now that you know what it is all about
think about whether you wish to make yourself available for nomination and possible election to the Vestry. Look around and see which Parishioners, you think will serve the Vestry well and encourage them to accept nominations for the election. Make arrangements to nominate or second the nomination of suitable Parishioners for election to the Parish’s Vestry.
Finally be present at worship on the Sundays in December when the election is taking place to participate in the election of the people’s Warden and other members of the Vestry.