The ministry of wardens is vital to a healthy church community, and the effective work of Gospel mission. Wardens are akin to church elders, and also act as the Officers of the Parish. The role of Warden has been in place in the church for a very long time, including functions specified in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
- There are normally two wardens in a parish, one elected at the Annual Vestry Meeting (sometimes call the People’s Warden) and one nominated by the minister (the Priest or Rector’s Warden).
- Wardens, as part of the local leadership of the church, must fulfil the Safe Ministry requirements
- Must be eligible to be a member of the Vestry (ie eligible and willing to sign the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of the Synod of the Diocese of Adelaide – see the link to Annual Vestry Meeting above for a template)
- Together with the minister and Parish Council, Wardens are Responsible Officers for the purposes of Work Health & Safety
The Parochial Administration Ordinance more precisely specifies the role of Wardens in Section 51:
- In addition to those duties prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer the duties of churchwardens shall include the following –
- To co-operate with the Parish Priest in the initiation conduct and development of the work of God and the Church within the parish;
- To be the executive officers of the Vestry and of the Parish Council in respect of matters pertaining to the congregation to which they are appointed;
- To maintain order in the church and church grounds;
- To ensure that all things pertaining to the celebration of divine service are provided and to see that everything is fit and proper for the due performance thereof;
- To make available all books muniments (title deeds) and records for the inspection of the Bishop or the Archdeacon of the district in which the parish is situated and to supply them with any information or explanations when requested to do so.
- To report to the Bishop any serious neglect or failure on the part of the Parish Priest in the fulfilment of his or her pastoral duties;
- To perform such duties as are prescribed by this or any other Ordinance;
- Subject to any direction of the Parish Council or the Vestry as the case may be to receive bank and disburse moneys on behalf of the parish or congregations as the case may be.
- The Parish Council may determine that any of the functions referred to in subsection (1) shall be carried out by the parish secretary.