The annual election of church wardens in England took place during Easter week. Parishioners gathered to hear the outgoing wardens render accounts and elect successors. Parishioners gathered in the church’s vestry, the room in which the clergy vested. Hence, the gathered parishioners came to be known as the vestry. These were open vestries, meaning all adult male parishioners could participate. In other words, these were like modern annual congregational meetings. In Virginia, parishes were very large, making it difficult to gather all male parishioners together. Therefore, they would meet only once and elect twelve men to serve for life. This became known as a closed vestry. The transition to a closed vestry was completed by 1634, when a Vestry Act was passed which provided that “there be a vestrie held in each parish.” The current vestry system in the Episcopal Church evolved from this colonial North American pattern.
Saint Andrew’s vestry is the legal representative of our parish with regard to all matters pertaining to its corporate property. Vestry members are male and female volunteers elected during our annual parish meeting. The rector is the presiding officer of the vestry. We have two wardens. The senior warden leads the parish between rectors and is a support person for the rector. The junior warden has responsibility for buildings and grounds. We also have a treasurer and a clerk of the vestry. Responsibilities of the vestry include helping define and articulate the mission of the congregation, supporting the parish’s mission, selecting the rector, ensuring effective organization and planning, and managing resources and finances.
Saint Andrew’s Vestry for 2020
|John Russell||Vestry Member, Sr. Warden|
|Mary Walton Allen||Vestry Member, Jr. Warden|
|Jennifer Cordell||Vestry Member, Clerk|
|Rita Compton||Vestry Member|
|Stacy Coughlin||Vestry Member|
|Gina Harden||Vestry Member|
|Field Norris||Vestry Member|
|Joe Lee Rape||Vestry Member|
|Kent Thompson||Vestry Member|