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What is the Vestry?

The term vestry originated in Great Britain and referred to the room next to the nave of the church where the sacred vessels and vestments were kept. Those conducting parish business met in this room and came to be known as the vestry. The executive committee of the vestry is made up of the two wardens and the rector. The principle behind this, as well as the whole structure of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, is one of ordered and diffused authority.

The canon law of the Church charges the vestry with the following responsibilities:

1) responsibility with the Rector in promoting the spiritual welfare of the parish.

2) aid the Rector in the institution, conduct, and development of the program of the Church both within and without the Parish.

3) agent and legal representative in all matters concerning property: maintain the buildings and furnishings, maintain other property (rectory, parking lot, grounds, etc.), provide adequate insurance,

4) responsible for the finances of the parish, raising money, prompt payment of salaries and bills, prudent care of trust funds, endowments and bequests, sale and transfer of securities and other assets, maintain records, annual report, budget (approve expenditures and recommend and approve salaries)

5) recruit, encourage, train, and guide candidates for Holy Orders

6) represent the parish in its relations with the Rector

7) serve as a "Council of Advice" for the Rector when requested

8) elect a Rector if there is a vacancy

Eligibility for Vestry

To serve on the Vestry in the Episcopal Church, one must meet the following requirements:

be 16 years of age or older

be an active communicant of the parish for at least 6 months

be a pledging member of record

be a confirmed Episcopalian or received by a bishop into the

Episcopal Church from another Christian church.

participate in the Eucharist every Sunday "unless for good cause

prevented."

St. Simon's Vestry is made up of 12 members:

the rector (who does not vote unless there is a tie)

3 officers which include

Senior Warden

Junior Warden

Clerk of the Vestry

Vestry members are elected at the annual meeting of the parish in October each year. Officers are elected for a term of one year. There is no restriction on how many times they may be elected.

All members are elected for a term of 3 years, which runs from Jan-Dec. They may not be re-elected unless they are completing a partial term. Former members-at-large may run for election again after being off the Vestry for one year.

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