What is a “Priest-In-Charge”?
A Priest-In-Charge is a priest appointed by the Bishop at the invitation of the Vestry for a time certain period. The Priest-In-Charge functions like an Interim Rector and is charged with development work to move a congregation forward in their mission and ministry. Unlike an Interim Rector who cannot be considered as a candidate to be called as the settled Rector of a parish, the Priest-In-Charge may be called by the Vestry of the parish to be the settled Rector.
Who decided the Bishop should appoint a Priest-In-Charge at St. Peter’s?
The Vestry decided this in July 2017 when Tom Slawson+ departed St. Peter’s. The Vestry met with Canon Stuart Wright to consider the options for how to call our next Rector. There are two options available: 1) accept the Bishop’s appointment of a Priest-In-Charge and 2) enter a full search process. The Vestry chose to accept Bishop’s Sutton’s appointment of a Priest-In-Charge.
Why did the Vestry choose a Priest-In-Charge over a full search process?
Full search processes are costly in time, personnel, and money. They are labor intensive processes which place great demands on laypersons serving on search committees and the Vestry. Full searches require St. Peter’s to pay travel expenses for candidates and the engagement of an Interim Rector (and Interim salaries are higher than regular Rector or Priest-In-Charge salaries because of the specialized nature of their work). Given we were just two years out of imperilment and our financial resources were limited, the Vestry chose a Priest-In-Charge process to potentially streamline the call process and save us significant time, resources and money. Click here for a flow chart comparing the Priest-In-Charge process with a traditional call process.
How might a Priest-In-Charge become our Rector?
The Vestry meets with both the Priest-In-Charge and one of our diocesan staff (usually Canon Scott Slater or Canon Stuart Wright) for a Mutual Ministry Meeting. During this meeting, the Vestry and Priest-In-Charge examine where their shared ministry is working well, what items need attention, and where are the areas for improvement. At the end of that meeting, the Priest-In-Charge steps out while the Canon remains behind for deliberations and the vote. After the vote is taken, the results are shared with the Priest-In-Charge. If the vote is in favor of calling the Priest-In-Charge, the Priest-In-Charge then discusses this offer with the Canon and the Bishop and commits it to prayer before accepting or declining the offer. If the Priest-In-Charge declines the offer OR if the Vestry votes not to call, St. Peter’s will end their Priest-In-Charge process and be required to enter a full search process.
Can we consider other priests for this call before the Vestry meets with Mother Anjel?
No. The Vestry may not enter a call process or consider other candidates until they have concluded the Priest-In-Charge process with Anjel+.
Why wasn’t the congregation allowed to vote on which process to use back in 2017?
Unlike other Protestant denominations, calling a priest is not the responsibility of the congregation. It is the sole responsibility of the Vestry and the choice of process belongs to the Vestry.