the word referred to the room where the priest would put
on his vestments, at which time local laity would meet
with him to discuss the affairs of the parish. Later,
the word came to refer to the leaders, instead of the
The Vestry is
the governing board of the parish and consists of the
Rector, the Wardens and lay members. The Rector presides
at meetings of the Vestry (unless he/she asks the Senior
Warden to preside) which handle the parish’s business
and temporal matters. Additionally, the Vestry serves as
a council of advice for the Rector. The Episcopal Church
uses a representative form of government instead of a
pure democracy and members of the Vestry are elected
at the Parish’s annual meeting.
The Vestry serves many of the
functions served by boards of directors or trustees of
other organizations or businesses. As its primary
responsibility, the Vestry oversees the parish’s
financial health. In partnership with the rector, it
develops and approves the annual parish budget. The
Vestry also serves as an advisory council to the rector
who by church law is the parish’s chief liturgical and
pastoral officer. The Rector, Wardens, former
Senior Warden, and the Vestry Clerk form an executive
committee and meets periodically between Vestry
The Vestry meets once a month to
conduct its business and on special occasions as needed.
Typically the Vestry has the
* Exhibit faithfulness in
worship and participates in the activities of the
* Lead in the financial support of the parish.
* Evaluate parish direction annually.
* Function as a sounding board and an impartial
source of support for the rector.
* Maintain upkeep of church property (the rector
* 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 or digest of parish
policies, records, and vestry decisions.
Who Are the Officers of the Vestry?
* The Rector is the Presiding
Officer of the Vestry.
* The Senior Warden is elected by the Rector and serves
as the Vestry chairperson in the Rector’s
* The Junior Warden is elected annually by the Vestry.
* The Clerk (secretary) is elected
annually by the Vestry and is responsible for
maintaining the minutes and handling
* The Treasurer is not a member of the Vestry, but is
elected by the Vestry.
How are Vestry members
The Vestry has nine elected
members. Each member is elected for a three-year term.
At the Annual Parish Meeting each January three new
vestry members are elected by those present to serve on
the Vestry who take the place of the four who are
leaving the Vestry.