The General Vestry
The General Vestry is a meeting open to all registered members of the parish. Anyone who makes a regular contribution to parish funds using the Church envelopes can register their name. The list of registered members is updated each year. Anyone who has been registered can attend meetings of the General Vestry, they can vote, and they can stand for election.
Although the General Vestry can be convened as and when necessary, there is one statutory meeting each year, which is known as the Easter Vestry. The primary purpose of the Easter Vestry is to elect members of the Select Vestry for that year. It is also an opportunity for the Rector and the Treasurer (and others if necessary) to give reports concerning the state of the parish.
The Select Vestry
The Select Vestry is responsible for ensuring that there are adequate resources to carry out the various ministries of the Church. It meets once a month to manage our buildings, finances, staff and other resources. The Rector normally chairs the meetings. The Select Vestry membership consists of the three Clergy, the six Churchwardens, the two Glebewardens, and twelve representatives elected by and from the annual meeting of the General Vestry. Owing to the administrative nature of the Select Vestry’s responsibilities, many of its duties are delegated to Committees.
The Fabric Committee is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of buildings in the care of the Church. The two Glebewardens are always members of this Committee. Several other parishioners who have experience of building maintenance are appointed by the Select Vestry, making sure that there is representation from each of the three churches.
The Finance Committee oversees the financial resources of the Church in conjunction with the Honorary Treasurer. In addition to the Treasurer, several other parishioners are appointed by the Select Vestry to serve on the Committee. At least one of the Glebewardens attends in order to make sure that there is some overlap between the Finance and Fabric Committees.
Human Resources Committee
The Human Resources Committee deals with the employment of the staff, excluding the ordained clergy. They are responsible for drawing up policies required for any organisation with employees, and implementing these. They also oversee the procedure for employing new members of staff.
St Columba’s Committee
St Columba’s was originally formed in the 1970s with the intention that at some point in the future it might become a separate parish. Consequently it has its own “Vestry Committee” that is primarily responsible for managing and developing the church building (always subject to the approval of the Select Vestry). It also goes beyond this remit, and takes an active role in developing the ministries of the Church in conjunction with the Clergy.
If there are two Curates, the senior of these is normally appointed as Curate-in-Charge of St Columba’s, and he chairs meetings of the Vestry Committee. The Committee consists of the Curate-in-Charge, the two Churchwardens from St Columba’s, and around fourteen other regular members of the congregation elected at an Annual Meeting.
The Communications Committee is responsible for overseeing the parish’s online presence – such as this website and our Facebook page. It also seeks to enhance communication in terms of the parish magazine, weekly bulletins, emails, notice boards and local newspapers and radio.
There are several Catering Teams with responsibility for providing anything ranging from tea and coffee to a three course meal. Each Team has a designated Leader, who meet together occasionally on the Catering Committee to exchange ideas and purchase any necessary resources.
In response to the urgent need to raise funds for the Bell Tower at St Patrick’s, the Fundraising Committee was formed in order to organise and coordinate various events. This remit has been expanded in order to raise funds also for general needs of the parish.
Safeguarding Trust Panel
The Safeguarding Trust Panel is the child protection committee for the parish. They are designated body for receiving reports of suspected child abuse, which they then forward onto the statutory child protection agencies. They also ensure that all workers and volunteers are police checked prior to any involvement with children, and that suitable child protection training is carried out.