CANON 29: OF CHURCHWARDENS AND CHAPEL WARDENS
Amended Provincial Synod 2019
Every Churchwarden and Chapelwarden within this Province shall be a communicant of the age of twenty-one years and upwards.
2. Election of Church-wardens
(a) Two Churchwardens shall be elected annually in each Pastoral Charge at the meeting of the Vestry held in terms of section l(a) of Canon 27 Of Vestries.
(b) They shall be elected by the majority of the Parishioners present and voting, with the subsequent agreement of the Incumbent.
(c) Failing such agreement the appointment of the person or persons elected shall be suspended and the matter immediately referred by the Chairperson in writing to the Bishop, who shall
(i) then either confirm the appointment or
(ii) set it aside and direct such other action to be taken as may be deemed fit.
3. Election of Chapelwardens
(a) The Parishioners of any Chapelry within a Pastoral Charge (established as laid down in section 4 of Canon 23 Of Pastoral Charges) shall elect two Chapetwardens at a meeting held in terms of section 3 of Canon 27 Of Vestries.
(b) Such meeting shall take place each year not later than six Sundays after Easter, and the election shall be in accordance with the provisions of section 2 of this Canon.
4. Alternate Churchwarden
(a) The vestry may elect an alternate who shall act as Churchwarden or Chapelwarden if one or both of those elected under section 2 or 3 of this Canon be absent from the Parish or incapacitated by illness or other cause.
(b) Such alternate shall be, by virtue of such office, a member of the Parish Council or Chapeiry Council where such is permitted by Diocesan rules and exists.
(c) An alternate, duly elected by the ordinary annual meeting of the Vestry, shall fill a casual vacancy in the office of Churchwarden or Chapelwarden without a further meeting of the Vestry.
(d) A duly elected alternate shall be an ex officio member of the executive of the Parish Council, with full speaking and voting rights, and shall share in the responsibilities of the churchwardens as outlined in this canon.
5. Nomination and Willingness to serve
No person shall be elected a Churchwarden or Chapelwarden, unless such person has been nominated and seconded and has signified willingness to serve.
(a) It shall be the duty of the Incumbent to notify the Bishop forthwith should any casual vacancy occur in the office of Churchwarden or Chapelwarden.
(b) Casual vacancies are those which occur through death,
resignation duly accepted by the Bishop, or removal from office for cause deemed sufficient by the Bishop after due enquiry.
(c) A casual vacancy in the office of Churchwarden, Chapelwarden or Alternate Churchwarden/Chapelwarden, shall be filled within six weeks after it has occurred, and in accordance with the provisions of sections 2, 3 and 4 of this Canon.
7. Duties of Churchwardens
(a) Churchwardens and the Alternate are the officers of the Bishop and the principal representatives of the congregations.
(b) Together with the Incumbent they constitute the executive of the Parish Council and have special responsibility in the following matters:
i. Ensure that a register is kept of all parishioners;
ii. Keep an inventory of all goods, ornaments and furniture belonging to the church and to deliver the same to their successors on ceasing to hold office;
iii. Provide for the safety and preservation of the registers;
iv. Execute the policy of the Parish Council relating to property and parochial finance and to be responsible for the preparation of annual estimates of revenue and expenditure and the presentation of accounts to the Vestry;
v. See to the seating of the congregation, without respect of persons;
vi. Aid the Incumbent with information and counsel in all matters relating to the Parish, and particularly in cases contemplated in the rubrics before the service of Holy Communion.
vii. Implement a policy for ecologically sound management of grounds, buildings and behaviour.
(c) It is their duty to complain to the Bishop or Archdeacon if there should be anything plainly amiss or reprehensible in the life or doctrine of the Incumbent and also if there be anything contrary to order or decorum in the administration of Divine Service.
8. Duties of Chapelwardens
(a) It shall be the duty of Chapelwardens to fulfil the duties of Churchwardens in their Chapelry with regard to section 7(b)(i), (ii), (iii), (v) and (vi) of this Canon, and while it is recognized that the Incumbent and Churchwardens execute the policy of the Parish Council with respect to property and parochial finance, nevertheless they may delegate to Chapelwardens in their respective Chapelries such responsibility with the Incumbent for ecclesiastical finance and property within the Chapelry as they may deem fit.
(b) But where moneys are raised within a Chapelry, with the consent of the Parish Council, for specific purposes within the Chapelry, the disbursement of those funds shall be in the control of the Incumbent and Chapelwardens, subject to the regulations governing Trust moneys.
Sidespersons may be appointed in any Parish to perform such duties as the Parish Council shall determine.