Vestries are established at all three churches and are an integral part of their management. Any Vestry is responsible for the running of church affairs. Vestry members are elected from the church membership for a five-year term and are charity trustees. Ideally, members are drawn from a mix of ages and backgrounds and work harmoniously to carry out their responsibilities to the best of their abilities. Vestry assists the Rector and is responsible not only for the spiritual wellbeing of the members of the congregation but also for the fabric and property of the Church and Rectory.
In Duns, the Vestry officers include a Chair, Treasurer, Minutes’ Secretary and Property Convenor. There is a Child Protection Officer, appointed in compliance with the SEC Child Protection Policy, and as such, reports to Vestry.
Vestry meetings are currently held each month in the School Room. The minutes of Vestry meetings are taken and produced by the Minutes’ Secretary. Vestry is responsible for organising an Annual General Meeting to report to the congregation and any Extra General Meetings of the Congregation on specific issues.
Various sub-groups have been set up to help the Church pursue its Mission Plans. These sub-groups meet several times a year and report to Vestry. They include a Worship Group, a Pastoral Care Group, an Outward-Looking Group; and a Finance Group. Each group is chaired by a Vestry member.
The Worship Group
This group is responsible for organising services and supporting clergy. Its tasks include
- setting up services (including weddings, christenings and funerals), vigils and appraising them afterwards with the support of the Rector
- organising church music, readers, intercessions, and lay talks (i.e. sermons given by lay persons).
- inviting visiting clergy. Members of the group keep in touch with any ordained retired priests in the area who might officiate from time to time.
- ensuring that service booklets, candle stands, wafers and communion wine are provided
- ensuring that the organ is maintained to a high standard
- ensuring that the sound system and other audio-visual aids (ava) are working effectively
- establishing the ongoing needs for training