What is a Vestry?
Congregations that have been granted parish status by their diocese are governed by their Rector and the Vestry. Traditionally, and by canon law, the Vestry, consisting of Wardens and other members, is the legal representative of the parish “in all matters concerning its corporate property and the relations of the Parish to its Clergy” except as may be provided by state law or diocesan canons.
The Church of the Ascension in Munich is incorporated under German law as an “Eingetragener Verein (e.V.)” which is legally represented by its Wardens (“Vorsitzender und stellvertrender Vorsitzender”) and the Treasurer (which in our parish is elected by the Vestry but does not have to be a member of it).
Our Vestry has 12 members (including the wardens) which serve for two years; the terms are staggered such that every year 6 members are newly elected by the Annual General Meeting of the Parish. A member may only serve for 2 consecutive terms.
The Vestry meets once a month; the Presiding Officer is the Rector. We have a Senior and a Junior Warden, the former chairs a meeting in the absence of the Rector. An Executive Committee consisting of the Rector, the Wardens, Treasurer and Vestry Secretary, oversee implementation of decisions and plan the agenda.
The responsibilities of the Vestry are:
- Help define and articulate the mission of the congregation
- Support the mission by word and deed
- Select the Rector
- Ensure effective organization and planing
- Ensure adequate resources in leadership and in financial stewardship
- Manage resources effectively
- Determine that appropriate programs, policies and procedures have been developed and are followed
- Assess its own performance
- Yvonne Cockcroft (Senior Warden)
- Carmen Bleicher (Junior Warden)
- Roger Houghton (Secretary)
- Carter Balkcom
- Harald Bayer
- Steve Knowles
- Barbara Norman
- Graham Pearce
- Rolf Schneider
- Lois Stuckenbruck
- Michael Wolters
- Mitchell Woodard