The Vestry is the church council of Old Saint Paul’s. It is here that decisions are made on behalf of the congregation. These can range from organising activities and managing finances to caring for property and planning for the future.
Under charity law, the members of the Vestry are the Trustees of the church, and are responsible for carrying out all statutory and canonical obligations.
The Vestry meets about eight times each year, and has twelve members – six office-bearers, and six members elected by the Annual Meeting of the congregation in December. Elected members have a two-year term of office, and may serve not more than two consecutive terms of office. The Vestry may co-opt up to three additional members for terms not exceeding one year.
The office-bearers who are members of the Vestry are:
- the Rector, the senior cleric, appointed by the Bishop and the Vestry. The Rector is the convenor of the Vestry, but the Vestry also appoints from its number a Lay Convenor who may take the chair in place of the Rector.
- two Churchwardens, one appointed by the Rector, the other elected by the Annual Meeting every two years. Churchwarden duties include keeping order in church, taking the collection at services, and scrutinising the state of church buildings and furnishings.
- the Clerk, appointed by the Vestry every three years. The Clerk’s duties include keeping minutes, issuing notices of meetings, and conducting correspondence.
- the Treasurer, appointed by the Vestry every three years. The Treasurer’s duties include keeping accounts, banking monies, and presenting an annual account to the Annual Meeting of the congregation.
- the Lay Representative, elected by the Annual Meeting every year. The Lay Representative represents the congregation at meetings of the Diocesan Synod, and in electing a new Bishop of the diocese. The Annual Meeting also elects an alternate Lay Representative.
The Vestry also appoints every three years a Stewardship Recorder, whose duties include maintaining confidential records of giving, and submitting claims for recovery of tax on giving.
The Vestry, and all members of the congregation, are subject to the Canon law of the Scottish Episcopal Church.