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Our Vestry

What is the Vestry? 

The vestry is the legal representative of the parish with regard to all matters pertaining to its corporate property. The number of vestry members and the term of office varies from parish to parish. Vestry members are usually elected at the annual parish meeting. The presiding officer of the vestry is the rector. There are usually two wardens. The senior warden leads the parish between rectors and is a support person for the rector. The junior warden often has responsibility for church property and buildings. A treasurer and a secretary or clerk may be chosen. These officers may or may not be vestry members. The basic responsibilities of the vestry are to help define and articulate the mission of the congregation; to support the church’s mission by word and deed, to select the rector, to ensure effective organization and planning, and to manage resources and finances.

Vestry Member Qualifications: 

Eligibility requirements for Vestry service are as follows:

  • 18 or more years of age

  • attendant at worship

  • a regular contributor to the record

  • registered in the congregation for at least 18 months as

  • a baptized person

    • (a person who has “received the Sacrament to Holy Baptism with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, whether in this Church or in another Christian Church and whose Baptisms have been duly recorded in this Church”) (TEC I.17.1) or

  • a communicant member

    • (“a baptized person who has received Holy Communion in this Church at least three times during the preceding year”)

  • a confirmed Episcopalian who is canonically resident in the parish.


Candidates for Vestry should be men and women of prayer, with gifts for ministry leadership. Those gifts are not the same for each person and can be discerned together with the Rector or other parish leaders. Candidates should have a passion for the mission and ministry of St. Mary’s, and be known and trusted in the parish.

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