Often hired by the local vicar or a church, a parish clerk is responsible for providing administrative assistance to parish authorities. Attending meetings, preparing accounts and producing correspondence are all responsibilities of a parish clerk. Parish clerks do not need any formal training other than good administrative skills. A diploma in office procedures is beneficial to gaining employment in this field.
It is the duty of the parish clerk to attend monthly meetings held by the council or the church. She will take minutes at each meeting and make a summary of them for each member. Before handing out minutes, she will submit them to the chairman for approval. The parish clerk is often responsible for setting up the area for meetings. This involves placing tables and chairs, ensuring that there is drinking water available and cleaning up once the meeting is finished.
The parish clerk has the duty to carry out all general office administration for the parish. This involves being available during business hours to answer any parishioner questions. She will also be responsible for answering the telephone and dealing with inquiries. Documents and promotional materials that need to be prepared are also the responsibility of the parish clerk.
The parish clerk is responsible for dealing with all correspondence that arrives. This involves opening mail and deciding on any action that must be taken. This can include replying directly or gathering necessary information and passing the correspondence on to the relevant individual. The parish clerk will file away all correspondence in a secure place to ensure that it can be retrieved at a later date. She will also be responsible for reminding individuals of deadlines in replying to correspondence.
Maintaining parish accounts is the duty of the parish clerk. She will set up an accounting system that records all transactions and donations to the parish. She will prepare a report to her seniors once a month outlining the financial position of the parish. At the end of the tax year it is the parish clerk's responsibility to ensure that the accounts are submitted correctly and on time. She may arrange to hire the services of a trained accountant with authorisation from her seniors.