Church Warden

Number of Positions: Four; 2 wardens + 2 deputy wardens
Term: Four years, the first two as a deputy warden
Day/Hours of Work: Sunday morning services, weekday evening meetings, weekend events as required
Location(s) of Work: The church, or off-site event locations as required


The role of Church Warden was established centuries ago in the Anglican Church.  Church Wardens provide core leadership for the “Vestry” of congregation of Saint James.  Their responsibilities generally relate to the finances and property of the church, but they are responsible for all aspects of parish life, and in supporting the Incumbent in his/her work.  They always act jointly and make decisions as a team, not as individuals.

They work closely with the Treasurer and the Incumbent, and the employees of Saint James’. Wardens also provide reports to, and work closely with, the Parish Council in support of the various ministries that the Council delivers.


The role of the warden is realized through the following responsibilities at St. James:

  1. Attend and participate in Corporation meetings once per month. (Second Tuesday evening of the month.)
  2. Attend, participate in and make reports to Parish Council meetings once per month. (Third Tuesday evening of the month.)
  3. Act as Duty Warden at the Sunday morning 10 AM service, on a rotational basis of approximately 4 weeks. The other three wardens are also on this rotation. (INCLUDES: locking and setting the alarms at the church after services; verifying the offertory count and making the bank deposit; attending Coffee Hour after service to “meet and greet” those present; making a weekly wardens’ announcement before the service; in case of emergency managing the scene at the church as Fire Warden, as described in the “Fire Safety Plan”.)
  4. Attend, participate in and make reports to the Annual Vestry meeting. (a Sunday morning in February.) This includes a presentation of the budget for the upcoming year, and development and presentation of a report on the activities of the previous year.
  5. Attend church worship services on a regular basis (at least 50% of the time), with particular emphasis on the 10 AM service.
  6. Hire, manage and support the employees and contractors of the church including the Priest, Office Manager, Music Program Director, Youth Program Director, custodial staff and other building maintenance services.
  7. Participate and take an active role in a reasonable cross section of church activities, including but not limited to: Christmas Fayre, Garage Sale, Church Picnic, Sunday School, Youth Program, Theme Dinners, Pub Nights, etc.
  8. Establish, approve and monitor the implementation of ongoing lifecycle maintenance and renewal activities for the church property and assets, such as the building, the grounds, the interior finishings, and technology. One warden is assigned as a liaison and support to the Property Committee to accomplish this.
  9. Performing the financial roles and responsibilities associated with the churchwarden position, as defined in “Managing Finances in the Parish” by the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa.  On an operational basis, this typically includes reviewing monthly and annual budget statements presented by the Treasurer; granting approval for expenditures that have been approved by the wardens/Corporation; signing of cheques as required supporting the work of the Treasurer; obtaining and presenting price quotes for proposed investments and/or expenditures; guiding and supporting the Property Committee, and developing an annual budget that reflects the plans and priorities as approved by Vestry
  10. Responding to security alarm calls from the church as required, and communicating with the security alarm service provider and first responders, to ensure the security and safety of the church building.
  11. Taking a leadership role in special projects of strategic importance to the church, such as strategic planning, visioning, budget development, communications strategy, etc.

Preferred Skills/Experience

A good Warden can be a stimulus, example and spiritual leader for the whole life of the parish. Wardens possess the following attributes:

•A baptized, confirmed, person of Anglican faith who attends St. James’ church services regularly.

•A person who knows many of the congregation, and in whom others have confidence.

•A person who has had previous experience handling parish matters as a member of the Vestry.

•A person willing to work closely with, to support, and to help the Incumbent.

•A person whom the Incumbent can take closely into his/her confidence.

•A person who can be sympathetic and tactful in relating to members of the congregation, particularly in handling complaints and other sensitive matters.

•A person who can really reflect the love of Jesus, through encouraging others within the Body, offering prayers and assistance to those who are suffering, and serving to the best of his/her ability in keeping God’s property in top condition, as a witness to the wider community.

•A person who is willing to be subjected to a police check and who is of full age of majority.


  1. Education, training and relevant experience in one or more areas relevant to the effective administration of St. James, such as but not limited to: accounting, budgeting, communications and public relations, community development, outreach, volunteerism, planning, building management.
  2. Availability to perform duties during the business day, and if required, to come to the church on short notice in case of emergency.

Term of office:

The wardens’ four year term of office is administered such that each year at the annual Vestry meeting, the most senior warden ends his/her four year term, a new deputy warden joins the churchwarden’s team and starts his/her four year term, and the most senior of the two deputy wardens moves into the full warden role.  Thus, the typical pattern is to serve two years as a deputy warden, followed by two years as a full warden.

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