The Vestry is the governing board of the parish and consists of the Rector, the Wardens and lay members. (Originally the word “vestry” 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 room.)
The Rector presides at meetings of the Vestry 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 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 Senior Warden is appointed by the Rector and the Junior Warden is elected by the Vestry.