Introduction & Background
“In all juridic affairs the pastor (parish priest) represents the parish according to the norm of law. He is to take care that the goods of the parish are administered according to the norm of canons 1281-1288”.
Code of Canon Law n.532
The Parish Finance Council works closely with the parish priest, who is accountable to the diocesan bishop for the administration and stewardship of the finance and temporal goods of the parish. An active, well-formed Parish Finance Council is a key element for promoting the financial health of a parish, assuring accountability and assisting the parish priest with his temporal responsibilities. As such, the Church decrees that each parish must have a Parish Finance Council:
“In each parish there is to be a finance council which is governed, in addition to universal law, by norms issued by the diocesan bishop and in which the Christian faithful, selected according to these same norms, are to assist the pastor in the administration of the goods of the parish, without prejudice to the prescript of canon 532”.
Code of Canon Law n.537
Consultative Body to the Parish Priest
The Council is a consultative body of lay people who assist the parish priest in meeting his obligations. While the Parish Finance Council does not have decision making authority, consultation is at the heart of the decision-making process – sharing information, listening, contributing to the discussion, and promoting consensus.
Although he is not obliged to follow the recommendations of the Finance Council, the parish priest should not act against such advice, especially when there is consensus, unless there is an overriding reason. In other words, the prudent parish priest would not ignore the advice of the Finance Council unless there was a serious reason to do so. When acting contrary to its recommendations the parish priest should provide an explanation regarding the reasons for the decision.
In order to be effective in their responsibilities as members of the Parish Finance Council, members should have a love for the Church and its mission and develop a thorough understanding of the parish’s mission, goals, people and other resources. The members should have knowledge of diocesan statutes and policies regarding temporal issues and other financial matters. It is the parish priest’s responsibility to give the members appropriate background and enrichment so they are able to carry out their duties.
Preclusion to Membership/Conflict of Interest
Parish Finance Council members owe the entire parish a duty of loyalty. The duty of loyalty requires a Parish Finance Council member to act in the interest of the whole parish rather than in the personal interest of the member, their community, or some other person or organisation. In particular, the duty of loyalty requires a Parish Finance Council member to avoid conflicts of interest that are detrimental to the wider parish.
Any person who may have a conflict of interest in view of other services, either paid or unpaid, rendered to the parish by the Parish Finance Council member, the member’s family or the member’s business is ineligible to serve as a member of the Parish Finance Council.
No parish employee or member of the family of an employee or relative of the parish priest may serve on the finance council.
Members of the Parish Finance Council may serve in other volunteer service roles in the parish if, in the judgment of the parish priest, such dual service will not create conflict of interest situations. The role of the Parish Finance Council should not be vitiated.
Fr. Michael Doyle
Mrs Cathy Morris
Cathy is employed by the parish as Finance & Operations Manager. She comes to us with a background in finance and administration within the charities sector. She sits on the council in an advisory capacity.
Mr. John Wysome
Mr. Anthony Hurley
Prior to his retirement, Mr. Anthony Hurley served as Diocesan Treasurer, with an understanding in U.K. Charitable practice.
Mr. Mario Conti
Mr. Mario Conti spent his professional life as both a barrister and solicitor. As a legal professional he brings his expertise to the management of All Saints.