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Parish Finance Council
The bishop heads the diocese and appoints a priest as pastor to serve and manage each parish community on his behalf. The pastor is ultimately responsible for all parish finances. Church Law (Canon 1280 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law) and diocesan norms recognize the tremendous responsibility given to pastors in the realm of parish finances. Accordingly, every parish is required to have a parish finance council. The pastor is responsible for assembling the parish finance council. The parish finance council is an advisory body whose membership should include individuals skilled in finance, civil law, construction/engineering, or business.
Every parish finance council must have at least three members. The parish finance council will:
Assist in the preparation of the annual budget;
Assist in monitoring financial reports and the annual budget on an ongoing (at least quarterly) basis;
Assist the pastor in assuring that the financial statements are presented to the parish community (at least annually);
Assist in the implementation of acceptable internal control practices including reviewing and implementing diocesan policies, and;
Assist the pastor in evaluating the impact on parish finances and administration of leasing parish properties to an outside organization.
The parish finance council will meet at least four times a year. At every meeting, the parish finance council will review and analyze the financial activities of the parish, monitor compliance with the annual parish budget, review quarterly financial reports, and review the financial impact of the mission and ministry of the parish as established by the pastor.
Parish Pastoral Council
The Diocese of Manchester issued Parish Pastoral Guidelines in July 2002 which gave a new model that focused the work of the Parish Pastoral Councils on Mission and Vision. Every parish is expected to have a Pastoral Council and a Finance Council which serve in an advisory role with the pastor.
The Pastoral Ministry Office provides resources to assist pastors in their efforts to strengthen and renew the Parish Pastoral Councils in this new model. Download the Parish Pastoral Councils Guidelines.