The form below is for those who have been officially nominated by the Vestry to stand for election. If you have any questions about the form or the information needed, please contact Greg Shore (GShore@StAndrews.Church).

Leadership at St. Andrew’s

As an Anglican church, St. Andrew’s leadership organization reflects our unique heritage. We are not strictly a hierarchical church (i.e., Roman Catholic), nor are we a congregational church (i.e., Baptist/Congregational/non-denominational). Instead, we have a conciliar method of church leadership. Meaning that in our leadership of the parish, the clergy and the laity, under the leadership of the Rector, take counsel together – and with the Lord, through prayer.

The Vestry House of Old Spesutia Church built in 1766. St. George’s, Perryman, Maryland

What is a Vestry?

The Anglican Church has a representative form of governance. The vestry is the name of the elected lay leadership of a local congregation. The term, “vestry,” originally referred to the vesting room attached to the church building where the clergy would vest, i.e., put on their robes. Typically, and historically, the elected lay leaders would meet in the vestry for their meetings and over time these lay leaders simply became known as the “vestry.” The vestry is led by the Rector (who is the chairman of the vestry) and assisted by the officers of the vestry. The officers are comprised of a Senior Warden (appointed by the Rector), a Junior Warden, a Secretary, and a Treasurer (the latter three positions are typically elected by the vestry).

Because the Rector, once called by both the vestry and Bishop to lead a parish, has tenure the relationship between the vestry and the Rector is crucial. The fundamental characteristic of a healthy relationship is trust. We find that trust grows and organizations function at their best when the responsibilities of all persons in leadership have a clear understanding of their role, function, and authority.

Responsibilities of the Rector

As the spiritual head of the congregation, the Rector’s duties shall include:

  • overseeing the worship of the congregation,
  • presiding or designating a presider at all meetings of the vestry;
  • preaching and teaching the Holy Scriptures;
  • having care of souls, ensuring that pastoral care and Christian formation for the congregation are provided;
  • cultivating in his own life a rule of prayer and devotion,
  • living as a godly example to the faithful demonstrating humility, and when necessary repentance and amendment of life;
  • hiring, managing, and when necessary, terminating the employment of members of staff;
  • at all times the rector retains the use and control of the church properties, ensuring that all activities taking place on church properties are
  • consistent with the worship and mission of the church and local needs of the congregation.

Responsibilities of the Vestry

The vestry shares leadership with the Rector as the elected representatives of the parish. As the elected leaders, the vestry is the sole legal representative of the parish and transacts all business of the parish. At St. Andrew’s the vestry’s duties shall include:

  • provide for the financial support of the Rector and the Rector’s family;
  • support the Rector in all aspects of the Rector’s ministry, including ensuring the Christian formation, biblical literacy, and spiritual maturity of the members of the Congregation;
  • provide an adequate place for regular worship;
  • provide for those things necessary for the worship of God including Bibles, Communion elements, music, hymnals, prayer books, etc., as needed for use by the congregation;
  • provide for the compensation of staff members;
  • establish an adequate insurance program for the congregation;
  • model and communicate to the parish a commitment to the biblically-based practice of tithing and sacrificial giving;
  • embrace the principles found in Matthew 18 as the standard for resolving conflict that may develop within the vestry and/or the parish.

Five C’s

At St. Andrew’s, vestry members serve a three-year term. We seek those persons for vestry service who evidence the “5 C’s” in their manner of life:

  • Character (is the fruit of conversion evidenced in their life?)
  • Charism (do they evidence gifting for Vestry service?)
  • Calling (do they have a sense that the Lord is calling them to Vestry service?)
  • Capacity (do they evidence the capabilities necessary for Vestry service?)
  • Competency (do they evidence skills and Christian maturity necessary for Vestry service?)