The vestry is an elected group of parish members who oversee the church and its operations. This group of parish members ensure that the church obeys the denomination's church doctrine. Most churches that are directed by a diocese or bishop have a vestry.
Assist the Rector
The rector is the person in charge of the parish such as a clergyman or priest. The members of the vestry will select a rector and then assist the rector in providing spiritual guidance to the congregation. The vestry is also responsible for ensuring the rector is qualified and performs his duties as outlined by the organization.
It is the duty of the vestry to promote the church to the existing congregation and the parish that surrounds the church. This promotion will include outreach programs designed and implemented by the vestry. The vestry will also be responsible for any image that is portrayed by the church. Through this promotional program the church will be able to grow and attract new members to the congregation.
The vestry is responsible for the maintenance of the church property. Part of this duty will include deciding on whether to have members of the church do this maintenance and what the members' responsibilities are when performing a particular task.
The vestry handles the financial responsibilities of the church. The members will oversee the donations and tithes as well as dispersing funds to programs run by the church. The taxes, utilities, payroll and other financial responsibilities are also approved and paid out by the members of the episcopal vestry. The vestry members are required to meet annually in order to develop a budget for the next year, then meet quarterly or periodically to ensure that the budget is being met. This budget will go to the bishop or diocese of the organization for approval.
The vestry members will identify individuals who can fill open positions at the church. After identifying qualified individuals, the vestry will train and guide them. These positions will include positions such as associate clergy or choir director.