Churchwarden is the title given to a member of the church who is not ordained as clergy, but who is elected to perform a variety of responsibilities crucial to the local church community on a volunteer basis. Often, congregations have two churchwardens.
Churchwardens have keys to their churches and conduct a formal, annual inspection of the church and anything on its grounds, such as cemeteries, gardens and car parks. They also arrange for any necessary repairs and maintenance of heating and cooling systems, windows, lights or other physical elements and are responsible for arranging for snow removal and lawn care services for the church.
During Sunday services, churchwardens greet visitors and ensure that everything required for the service is in place, such as seating and lighting. They also have jurisdiction to maintain order on their grounds and are given the power to arrest people who are belligerent or unruly on church property.
The churchwarden keeps detailed records of any maintenance, inspections or purchases made by the church and often oversees a trust or account that is earmarked for the facilities and operations of the church. In some churches, the churchwarden assists with counting the collection and allocating funds received from it.
Churchwardens must attend all meetings held by committees within the church. They are also expected to meet and pray with the parish priest on a regular basis or with the bishop, if there is no priest assigned to the church.
The Anglican church permits churchwardens to conduct morning and evening prayer if required. The churchwarden also gives feedback and support to committees as well as individual church parishioners who are in need of assistance.
During an interregnums or a time during which there is no parish priest assigned to the church, the churchwarden arranges all guest preachers for worship. When a new priest is selected by the bishop, the churchwarden reads the announcement to the congregation.
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