What is a Vestry?

A handy reference guide to all the terms and an attempt. to explain the structures.

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What is the General Vestry? 

General Vestry is a body that meets (usually annually) to agree the financial statements of the church and other reports. This is a key part of the governance of a parish.

Members of the General Vestry are eligible to stand for election to Select Vestry, propose or second another member to be considered and to vote for the membership of the Select Vestry at the Easter Vestry which is effectively the church’s AGM.

The register for General Vestry is only open for one month a year (usually some time January and February). We advertise that it is open on our website, around the buildings, in our emails and from the front of church so that you can't miss it.

What is the Select Vestry?

The Select Vestry is the body that is responsible for the governance of the parish. They are automatically registered as the trustees of the "charity" with the Charity Commission NI. 

The range of responsibilities of the Select Vestry include:
- being responsible for maintaining church property (church, halls, rectory, grounds) also known as the "glebe"
- Ensuring good governance in the areas of finance, GDPR, Health and Safety, Safeguarding, Human Resources and other policies and procedures relating to the ongoing work of the church.
- Appointing a treasurer and secretary of the vestry to be responsible for those areas of governance. 

The Select Vestry is made up of:
- 2 Church Wardens (one appointed by the Rector, one elected by the General Vestry)
- 2 Glebe Wardens (one appointed by the Rector, one elected by the General Vestry)
- Up to 12 members who are elected annually by the General Vestry

The Select Vestry (as elected 3 April 2022)

Carson Bell
Ken Boal
Alan Brown
Dawn Brown
Tracy Haylett
Helen Livingston
Stephen McKinty
Krystal Mohn
Jude Murphy
Chris Scott
Gordon Smith
Marion Thompson

What are Wardens?

The Church and Glebe Wardens are members of the Select Vestry with particular responsibility for different areas of parish life. The specific responsibilities can vary depending on the needs and personnel but generally the Glebe Wardens are responsible for looking after the property (the "glebe") and the Church Wardens are responsible for assisting at the different gatherings of the church. 

The church wardens are currently Wendy Boal and Eric Hudson.

The Glebe Wardens are currently Ken Wilson and Richard Rea.

The Easter Vestry

The Easter Vestry (the church’s Annual General Meeting) is the opportunity for members of the General Vestry to receive, question and adopt reports from the Rector, Treasurer and others and to propose, second and elect members of the Select Vestry.

This year the Easter Vestry will be held on Sunday 3 April at 7pm in the church.

Triennial years

Every 3 years the General Vestry elect 4 parochial nominators (and up to 4 reserves) and 4 diocesan synod representatives (and up to 4 reserves).

Parochial Nominators are the people who represent the parish at the Board of Nomination when a new Rector is to be appointed.

The current nominators are

Alan Brown
Eric Hudson
Ruth Patton
Lisette Watson

Diocesan Synod Representatives are the parish reps at the annual diocesan synod and are eligible to stand for election and vote for various posts within the diocese and central church bodies.

The current reps are

Dawn Brown
David Houston
Paul Jardine
Jonny Watson

The next nominators and representatives will be nominated and elected at the Easter Vestry (AGM) in 2023.