Amended at Provincial Synod 2021

  1. Meetings of Vestry of Parish

The Parishioners of the Parish shall meet in Vestry (saving that where geographical conditions make the presence of all confirmed parishioners impracticable, the Diocesan Synod shall lay down such regulations as shall ensure representation of all congregations in the Parish):

(a)  at least once every calendar year not later in the year than the 15th March;

(b)  whenever required under these Canons or by the rules of the Diocese;

(c)  when convened from time to time by those authorized to do so by section 7 of this Canon either of their own motion or if directed thereto by the Bishop or the Archdeacon, or by requisition of the Parishioners when they are permitted to do so by the Rules of the Diocese and then to the extent therein

(d)  in accordance with any directions given by the Metropolitan, or the Metropolitan’s nominee, alternatively, by the Diocesan Bishop, or the Diocesan Bishop’s nominee, in circumstances (such as a national state of disaster) when vestry cannot be convened in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (a) to (c) above.

  1. Definition of Parishioner

By Parishioner shall be understood any person not being under Church censure who either

(a)       is on the list of Communicants as defined in Article XXIV 10 of the Constitution; or

(b)       except the Synod of the Diocese rule to the contrary, being baptized, and not being a member of any other religious body, is an habitual worshipper in the Church or Chapel of the Pastoral Charge in respect of which a vote is claimed.

  1. Meetings of Vestry Chapelries

Subject to the provisions contained in section 1 above, where Chapelries have been established in any Pastoral Charge in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of Canon 23 Of Pastoral Charges, the Parishioners thereof, being of the age of 18 years and upwards shall meet in Vestry to elect Chapelwardens as required in Canon 29 Of Churchwardens and Chapelwardens, and for the exercise of such functions and the  transaction of such business in relation to the Chapelry as the Rules of the Diocese may allow, but this shall in no way diminish their rights as full members of the Parish Vestry.

  1. Voting at Vestry

No person ordinarily resident outside the limits of the Pastoral Charge shall be entitled to vote at Vestry meetings until individual application shall have been made to the Incumbent to be entered in the register of parishioners and such name shall have been registered.

  1. Functions of Vestry

The functions of Vestry shall include:

(a)       the reception of the Churchwardens’ accounts;

(b)          the election of Churchwardens and Parish Councillors;

(c)        the care, with the Incumbent, of the Parish in matters affecting worship ministry, education, evangelism, unity, development, the environment and social  responsibilities

  1. Parochial accounts

Subject to any directions given to parishes and chapelries as contemplated in section 1(d) of this Canon, proper accounts of all parochial finance shall be presented at the Vestry held in terms of section l  of this Canon and at any other Vestry called to elect a Churchwarden or Chapelwarden and shall be accepted by the meeting before such election takes place.

  1. Notice of Vestry Meetings

Meetings of the Vestry Shall be convened by notice given in writing, signed by the Incumbent and by the Churchwardens. In the absence or incapacity of any one or more of them, the signature or signatures required in each case shall be that of a person or persons appointed by the Bishop or Archdeacon, subject to:

(a) Any direction given to parishes and chapelries as contemplated in section 1(d) of the Canon,  such notice shall state the place, date, time and objects of the meeting, together with, the notice for for the Annual Vestry meeting, a statement of the functions of the Vestry as set out in section 5 of this Canon. Such notice shall be affixed to the notice-board of all licensed places of worship in the Pastoral Charge at least seven [7]  days before-the day appointed for the meeting.

(b)   Shall where possible, be read during Divine Service prior to the day of meeting.

(c)  The Incumbent, or the deputy, shall preside over each meeting of the Vestry, failing which a chairman chosen by the meeting shall preside.

(d) No business other than that stated on the notice calling the meeting shall be transacted, except with the consent of the chairperson.

(e)  During a vacancy of a Pastoral Charge and at other times when the Bishop or the Archdeacon deems it necessary,  some other person appointed by either, shall preside at Vestry meetings.