CANON 28: OF PARISH COUNCILS

Amended at Provincial Synod 2021

Of Parish Councils

    1. When Elected

    (a) A Parish Council shall be elected in every Pastoral Charge at the Vestry held in terms of section 1 (a) of Canon 27 Of Vestries or, in Pastoral Charges with many congregations, at such meetings as shall  be determined by the Synod of each Diocese.

    (b) A Parish Council shall be elected in every Pastoral Charge at the Vestry held in terms of section 1 (a), unless directed otherwise as contemplated in section 1 (d)  of Canon 27 Of Vestries,  or, in Pastoral Charges with many congregations, at such meetings as shall be determined by the Synod of each Diocese

    1. Members of Council

    (a) The Council shall consist of the Incumbent, the assistant Clergy persons and the full-time stipendiary lay ministers licensed to the Parish, the Churchwardens, the alternate Churchwarden (if any), and elected Parish Councillors who shall be Communicants. The number of such Councillors shall be determined by the Vestry, and shall not be less than five, except with the consent of the Archdeacon. At least one of those elected shall, where possible, be between the ages of 18 and 30.

    (b) Subject to any directions given to parishes and chapelries as contemplated in section 1(d) of Canon 27,  the Council shall consist of the Incumbent, the assistant Clergy persons and the full-time stipendiary lay ministers licensed to the Parish, the Churchwardens, the alternate Churchwarden (if any), and elected Parish Councillors who shall be Communicants. The number of such Councillors shall be determined by the Vestry, and shall not be less than five, except with the consent of the Archdeacon.

    1. Vacancies and co-operation

    The Council shall have power to fill casual vacancies and to co-opt.  However, co-opted members shall have power to speak but not to vote.  Should the meeting of Vestry referred to in Canon 28.2 (above) be unable, for whatever reason, to elect a young person between the ages of 18 and 30 as a member of Parish Council, the newly-elected Council shall, as soon as practically possible after the meeting of Vestry at which Council was elected, co-opt a young person to serve on Council.

    1. Functions of Council

    The functions of the Council shall be:

    • to consider matters affecting worship, evangelism, education, social responsibility, the environment and pastoral care, to examine the needs of the community, and to initiate such action as shall be determined in any of these concerns;
    • to consider the general welfare and accommodation of all licensed clergy and, where applicable, their families and dependents, and to take such action as they may deem necessary;
    • to seek at all levels such contact with other Christians as shall strengthen Christian witness and promote Christian unity;
    • to have direction and control of the properties and revenue and expenditure of the Parish, subject to Articles XVIII and XIX of the Constitution, the Canons of the Province, and the Rules of the Diocese in which the Parish is situated:
    • to receive, consider and approve the estimates in respect of each financial year;
    • to receive and act upon all matters referred to it by the Bishop, the Diocesan Synod and other competent
    1. Reference to Bishop

    Where differences of opinion may hinder the work of the Council the matter may be referred by the Incumbent, the Churchwardens, or by any three members to the Bishop.

    1. Conduct

    Where the Incumbent or Archdeacon perceives that the life and conduct of a Churchwarden, Alternate Churchwarden or Parish Councillor is inconsistent with that office, the Incumbent or Archdeacon may refer the matter to the Bishop, who shall, after further enquiry and giving that person an opportunity to be heard, have the power to dismiss or suspend for a period, the person from office. The Bishop may refer this matter to a Diocesan Tribunal.

    1. Regulations

    Regulations regarding election of members, the frequency of meeting and the conduct of business shall be determined by the Synod of each Diocese.