This Week: The Structure Of A Church [Jan 26th, 2019]

The legal corporation of St. Stephen’s Church comprises two churchwardens and the incumbent priest. Together with one or two deputy wardens, these church “officers” are authorized to sign legal documents on behalf of the parish, including cheques, leases, and employment contracts.

Each churchwarden has a “portfolio”, or area of responsibility, including buildings and property, finances, and administration, as well as overseeing the staff and providing corporate representation on the Search Committee and the Open Doors II Committee. Supported by the treasurer, financial volunteers, and administrative staff, if anyone can be said to “run” the church, it is the Corporation. Meanwhile, Parish Council is the body to whom Corporation is accountable. Its members set a course for the parish between general meetings, such as the Annual General Meeting, which involve the congregation as a whole. At its monthly meetings the council assesses the health and welfare of the parish and develops strategies that might include new programs, the direction of staffing efforts, and the

provision of funding. It is Parish Council that will be maintaining a relationship with our diocesan bishop during the coming year. Together, Corporation and Parish Council, along with the clergy who serve as staff, provide the leadership necessary to ensure the parish remains strong and viable, especially through periods of transition, such as the one we are now entering, with the retirement of our rector. We are fortunate to have strong leaders at the helm of our parish, capable of navigating the uncertain waters that lie ahead.

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