Holy Cross Church

Holy Cross Ke legae (It is home)

Background

The office of Church Warden dates back to the 14th Century, when the church in England was still under the Roman See. The Wardens were, and still are, the chief liaison persons between the parish and the Incumbent, and the chief administrative personnel of the parish. There is biblical authority for the establishment of this office.

It seems then, that if the modern Church is based on the structure of the New Testament Church, a number of ministers are needed in each congregation. It is not satisfactory, and certainly not biblical, for the priests to assume responsibility for the entire ministry. As members of the Body of Christ, we are all members of the priesthood of believers. But there are those selected by the body for specific ministries. In the Anglican Church some of these men and women comprise the ‘Parish Council’, with two or three of the parish council members being the church wardens.

Extract from the Diocesan Rules and Guidelines

Churchwardens are the officers of the Bishop and principal representatives of the congregation. They have the following functions:

1) together with the Incumbent they constitute the executive of the Parish Council and have special responsibility in the matters set out in Canon 29;

2) they shall be responsible to keep in good order, at the expense of the parish, the church and other buildings belonging to the church within the Parish, including the fencing and layout of the land. Incumbents shall advise the Diocesan Trustees if this is not done, and the Trustees may call upon the Churchwardens to carry out work which the Trustees deem necessary, at the cost of the parish;

3) they shall ensure that -

a) parishes meet their financial obligations in respect of the Diocese, their contributions being determined in terms of Schedule L;

b) no vestry, parish council meeting or parish officer, or any other person or body in the parish shall incur debt for, or on behalf of, the parish or Church, or in any manner so bind the Church, unless acting under power expressly contained in an Article of the Constitution, Canons, Acts or these Rules or under the written authority of the Diocesan Finance Board;

c) the parish does not undertake any fund-raising campaign (other than normal annual stewardship campaigns and individual functions) using the services of a fund-raising organisation without the prior consent of the Diocesan Finance Board;

4) the parish shall obtain the approval of the Bishop for any proposed fund-raising campaign, whether with or without the services of a fund-raising organisation; 

5) all surplus funds of the parish or any parish organisation are invested in the Diocesan Deposit Fund; 

6) all registers and records that are required by the Canons, these Rules and the laws of the country (including among others the items in Schedule O) are properly kept and securely retained for the stipulated periods.

7) they have the duty to advise the Bishop or Archdeacon in circumstances set out in Canon 29;

8) they shall exercise a special ministry of friendship and support to the Incumbent, helping him or her in every way that they are able; 

9) they shall report on their work at each Annual Vestry; 

10) otherwise their duties shall be as set out in Canon 29.