So now you're a warden..... brochure providing a brief overview of the roles and responsibilities of a warden.
The wardens are responsible for convening annual and other general meetings of parishioners with the minister – see Convening a general meeting of parishioners.
The financial responsibilities of wardens are set out in rules 3.7 to 3.10 of Schedule 1 and rules 3.6 to 3.9 of Schedule 2 of the Parish Administration Ordinance 2008. They are –
(a) ensuring the proper management, security and financial administration of all money and other property of the church or parish (with some exceptions)
(b) ensuring proper procedures are followed for collecting and counting all offertories, recording them in the register of services and banking them
(c) keeping proper accounting records of all money received and expended by the wardens
(d) if the parish is administered on the basis of its churches, paying to the wardens of the principal church the amounts determined by the parish council toward the expenses of the parish
(e) insuring, to the extent required by law, paid parish workers but only to the extent that the Property Trust has not taken out insurance
(f) preparing various financial statements and accounts, arranging for these to be audited and making copies of the statements available for inspection no later than the Sunday before the annual general meeting of parishioners - see Preparations for a general meeting of parishioners
The property responsibilities of wardens are set out in rules 3.11 to 3.12 of Schedule 1 and rules 3.10 to 3.11 of Schedule 2 of the Parish Administration Ordinance 2008. They are –
(a) keeping order in each church and its grounds
(b) ensuring proper care is taken of the church and other things relating to the conduct of services of public worship
(c) arranging repairs to the church (including fixtures, fittings and furniture), rectory, hall(s) and other buildings
(d) ensuring any property of the church or parish listed on the State Heritage register is maintained to the relevant minimum standards - see Minimum standards for protection of items listed on the State Heritage Register
(e) providing the minister with sufficient means for the safe custody of all church or congregation registers
(f) granting licences to permit outside persons and groups to use church or parish property (subject to certain conditions) - see Licence Agreements - Where the wardens are the licensors
In a parish with more than one church, the responsibilities of the wardens of the principal church also include –
- Ensuring the proper management, security and administration of any money and property of the parish that does not belong to a specific church (with some exceptions)
- paying stipends and other amounts to persons entitled to receive them as authorised by the parish council
- preparing separate financial statements for money held for the parish as a whole, arranging for these to be audited and making copies of the statements available for inspection no later than the Sunday before the annual general meeting of parishioners of the principal church – see Preparations for a general meeting of parishioners
In a parish which is administered as a whole, these additional responsibilities are already exercised by the wardens of the parish.
The wardens of the principal or only church of a parish or the wardens of the parish may, with the concurrence of the minister, appoint and remove paid parish workers.
However since the minister is responsible for the spiritual welfare of the parish, the wardens' appointment of a lay minister or student minister is for administrative purposes only. The minister retains control of the duties performed by such a person.
A warden who is a family member of a paid worker must not take part in any decision concerning the appointment, removal or performance review of such person.
Ideally, the decision-making process will include all three wardens acting unanimously. If one warden is unable to be consulted, or does not agree with the others on a particular issue, a decision may still be made by the remaining two wardens.
Although the wardens are responsible for various functions, they can arrange for other persons to perform some of these functions on their behalf. In particular, if one of the wardens is not prepared to act as treasurer, they may appoint another person to act as treasurer with the approval of the minister. The wardens' ability to delegate the performance of some of their responsibilities to others is important, particularly in larger churches.
The contents of this document are for general information only. No person should rely on the contents of this document without first obtaining advice from a qualified professional person. Neither the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney nor any organisation thereof is responsible for the results of any action taken on the basis of the contents of this document, nor for any error in or omission from this document.
Current as at April 2021