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Calling a new priest

When there’s a clergy vacancy in our Diocese, any process must begin with the suffragan bishops, who are the hiring authority for clergy. See Canon 10 for complete details.

Direct appointments

In some cases, the bishop will decide with the 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 two 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 ways of gathering information.

Finding a new incumbent

A new incumbent is selected by a Transition or Parish Selection Committee (PSC). You can map out your process with the parish selection process chart.

The committee’s role is to make a recommendation to the Suffragan. The committee works with the bishop-appointed transition/PSC coach to:

  • develop an effective plan to identify candidates
  • ensure compliance with diocesan canons, all legislative and human rights policies, and sound human resources practices
  • create an accurate parish profile
  • discern God’s will for the future of the parish
  • match the parish’s identity and aspirations with the type of leadership qualities that will best engender vitality
  • suggest names of candidates for the interview list (if there’s only one suitable applicant, interviews are done to check their compatibility of  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 the appointment of a successful candidate

For more details, contact your bishop’s office and see the policy governing Parish Selection Committees in Guidance on the Clerical Appointment Process in the Diocese of Toronto.

PSC/Transition coaches

Your Suffragan 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 make sure 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 needs to discuss it with your Suffragan. The Suffragan 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 Suffragan’s consent.

Learn more

Contact Elizabeth McCaffrey for more information.