Vestry is the equivalent to a Board. The role of the Vestry is oversight, governance, policy-making, leadership and stewardship of the Parish.
The Vestry has overall responsibility for the life of the Parish, giving leadership to set strategy and ensure strategic goals are met. Vestry also has responsibility for stewardship (caring, growing, developing) of the buildings and finances, and for Health and Safety policies. In our parish, much of the day to day work is carried out by the staff, with Vestry assuming a clear governance role.
Vestry members are aided in their responsibilities by regular reports from Clergy and staff on all aspects of Parish life, which are distributed before each meeting. There are also sub committees which carry out tasks and advise on Property, Financial, Worship and Pastoral matters.
Vestry members need to be reasonably regular attenders at worship, and willing to sign a “declaration of adherence and submission” to the authority of General Synod of the Church. Meetings are currently held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 5.30pm- 7/7.30pm.
How we work together:
· working together as a team, discussing issues openly and honestly
· keeping the details of discussions of the meeting confidential; sharing and supporting the agreed decisions
· come to meetings prepared, having read the papers provided
· follow up promptly on tasks undertaken; not taking on something we don’t actually have time for
· trust the clergy and staff to get on with the day to day management of the parish and to keep the boundaries between governance and management
· the only people who speak publicly (eg in the media) for the parish are the vicar or the wardens
The Vicar’s Warden (chosen by the Vicar) and the People’s Warden (elected by parishioners) are the lay leaders of the parish and have extra responsibilities in employment and oversight of staff
and support of the clergy.
Our 2 Synod members also attend Vestry and are elected on a 3 year cycle. These people are our representatives at our Diocesan Synod, the annual meeting of the Diocese of Auckland.
Vestry members are elected each year at the Annual General Meeting (usually in March). Each member needs to be nominated and seconded by a parishioner. Nominations close one week before the AGM.