Parish Election Process


A Look at the Vestry Nomination and Election Process

Trinityís Annual Meeting takes place in early February.  However, itís never too soon to begin thinking about the Vestry elections that will occur during that gathering. There are many members of Trinity who are new to the Episcopal Church, and even those who have been raised Episcopalian may not have a clear understanding of how our parish government operates.

Trinity, like all Episcopal parishes, is governed by an elected committee of laypersons known collectively as the Vestry. The Vestry meets on the third Wednesday of each month, in addition to holding a retreat in the spring and special sessions if a situation warrants, and Vestry meetings are open to the parish. There are a variety of positions that comprise the Vestry, and each has a defined term of service. The nine Vestry chairs have a three-year term, while the two co-wardens serve for two years, and treasurer and clerk serve one-year terms. Terms are staggered so that only a portion of the Vestry is new each year. Wardens may serve no more than two successive terms, Vestry chairs must take one year off in between their 3-year terms, and clerk and treasurer have no term limits.

As mentioned above, elections to the Vestry are held during the Annual Meeting in February. Like many Episcopal parishes we have nominating committees to recommend candidates for Vestry. The Diocesan Model By-Law that deals with the Nominating Committee appears below:

Model By-Laws for
Parishes and Missions
Adopted by the Standing Committee September 2001
In conformity with the Constitution and Canons,
Convention 2000


Sec. 1. Nominating Committee. There shall be a Nominating Committee consisting of the Rector, the Wardens and three members of the Parish appointed by the Vestry. Members of the Nominating Committee shall serve one year terms and any appointed member whose third successive term has expired shall be ineligible to serve for one year. The Nominating Committee shall present at each Annual Meeting one or more candidates recommended for each position to be filled by vote at such meeting. The list of nominees so designated shall be posted with the notice of the Annual Meeting. Nominations for any office to be filled at an Annual Meeting may also be made at such meeting by any member of the Parish authorized to vote.5

The major goals of the Nominating Committee are to help form a team of capable, committed Vestry members that will work together and reflect the congregation's interests and concerns, while bringing in new people to leadership roles. The committee will be responsible for soliciting names, screening and questioning candidates, seeking candidates, and making a prayerful recommendation at the Annual Meeting. Having six members on the committee, three of whom (Rector /Interim Priest and two elected Wardens) are very much plugged into the current affairs of parish life, allow for a more open process in bringing qualified candidatesí names before the committee for consideration, which can only benefit Trinity Church as a whole.

Watch for articles in Tidings detailing the Vestry positions that will be coming up for election at the next Annual Meeting. If you have questions about the nomination or election process, please contact either one of our wardens, any other Vestry member, or the church office at 508-384-3958.


Copyright 2016 Trinity Episcopal Church, Wrentham, MA 02093