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Calling a new priest

When you have a clergy vacancy in our Diocese, any process must begin with your Area Bishop area bishop, who is the hiring authority for clergy. See Canon 10 for complete details.

Direct Appointments

In some cases, the bishop will decide with nd parish Churchwardens, to make a Direct Appointment. If a new priest is found that way the cleric’s position will be designated as a Priest-in-Charge with an appointment term of 2 years.

Sometimes a bishop may ask the parish to do consultations in a hybrid process that allows input from parish meetings, focus groups or other means of information gathering, even though they agree that a Direct Appointment makes sense for whatever reason.

Finding a New Incumbent

In the Diocese of Toronto, a new Incumbent must be selected by a Transition / Parish Selection Committee (PSC). You can map out your process with this chart.

The role of this committee is to make a recommendation to the area bishop. To this end the committee works with the bishop-appointed Transition/PSC Coach to:

  • develop an effective candidate identification plan
  • ensure compliance with the diocesan canons, all legislative and human rights policies, and sound human resources practices
  • create a accurate Parish Profile
  • discern God’s will for the future of the parish
  • match parish identity and aspirations with the type of leadership qualities that will best engender vitality
  • suggest names of candidates for the interview list. Note that sometimes there is only one suitable applicant. In this case, interviews are done to check combability of the applicant with the parish’s vision of leadership
  • make sure all interview procedures and decisions are as objective and fair as possible
  • maintain confidentiality during the HR portion of the process until the bishop announces a successful candidate’s appointment


For more details contact your area office and see the policy governing Parish Selection Committees is outlined in Guidance on the Clerical Appointment Process in the Diocese of Toronto.

Diocesan PSC/Transition Coach(es)

Your area bishop will provide you with skilled volunteer coaches who work with the Congregational Development Department to support your parish during this important time of transition.

Your coach will:

  • keep the bishop informed about your parish’s progress
  • work with you to ensure your consultation process is fair and comprehensive
  • suggest ways of gathering data and information for your Profile – that includes a realistic picture of the demographic, financial, missional and spiritual state of the parish
  • help you discern the preferred leadership qualities desired in a new incumbent
  • work with you to design appropriate interview questions that accurately reflect the parish’s core values and aspirations

For more information about what a Transition/PSC coach will do, see the Transition/PSC ministry job description.


If your parish wants to go beyond the normal website or Anglican listings in advertising the vacancy, the PSC must discuss it with your area bishop. The bishop must grant permission to intentionally conduct a search or advertise the vacancy beyond our Diocese. Under no circumstances should you place a vacancy ad without your area bishop’s consent.

Learn more

Contact Elizabeth McCaffrey for more information. Email is best during this work from home period at the Synod Office.