Those over the age of 18 in Northern Ireland can register to vote in elections to their local council, the Assembly or to Parliament in London. In the same way in the Church of Ireland, those over 18 if they sign what is called the Register of Vestry Members, attend and vote at the annual business meeting – held around Easter time and therefore referred to as the Easter Vestry.
At that annual business meeting an election is held to appoint 12 people who will deal with the business affairs of the parish for the following 12 months. Those elected are referred to as the Select Vestry. The annual accounts are also presented at the Easter Vestry and often various leaders will give an update on their area of activity. From time to time other voting takes place to elect people to represented the Parish in the wider church and to elect people who will, should the rector move on, be involved in the appointment of a successor.
In addition to the 12 people mentioned above, the Select Vestry also comprises a Churchwarden (steward) elected by those attending the Easter Vestry and a Churchwarden appointed by the Rector. In addition, the Easter Vestry also elects a Glebewarden and the Rector appoints a Glebewarden. Their role is to take particular responsibility for the land and buildings belonging to the Parish. Once elected the Select Vestry appoints from within the 12 people an honorary secretary and honorary treasurer.
The Select Vestry normally up to six times a year with the Rector as chairperson. A typical meeting will decide how any building maintenance issues should be dealt with, will look carefully at the finances for the year to date and will be consulted by the Rector on his/her plans for the next period. Correspondence will be dealt with, insurances renewed, fire inspections arranged, requests to use the buildings considered and so forth. In addition, the Select Vestry will decide how much of the Parish money should be given to mission work beyond the Parish boundary. The Select Vestry is the legal employer for all non clergy staff.
Rectors Church Warden Mervyn Scott
Peoples Church Warden Derek Morrow
Rectors Glebe Warden Alfred Canning
Peoples Glebe Warden Russell Moore
Secretary Alan Keys
Treasurer Sandra Smyth
Rector’s Church Warden Olive Simpson
People’s Church Warden Beverly Steele
Rector’s Glebe Warden Jonathan Wilson
People’s Glebe Warden Mark Robinson
Secretary Jonathan Wilson
Treasurer Pamela Duddy
We encourage our church members to pray for the work of their vestries and to keep in consideration for the future those with rising skills and aptitude for such important practical decision making.