Parish Selection Process

Getting a New Priest

In the Diocese of Toronto, a new Incumbent is selected by the Parish Selection Committee (PSC), which always works with the Area Bishop, who is the hiring authority for clergy. In effect, the role of the parish selection committee is to make a recommendation to the Area Bishop. To this end the committee works with the Area Bishop to:

  • Develop an effective selection plan.
  • Ensure compliance with the diocesan canons, and all legislative and human rights policies, and uses sound human resources practices.
  • Suggest names of candidates for the interview list.
  • Ensure all interview procedures and decision are as objective and fair as possible.
  • Provide a comprehensive and accurate profile of the parish.

The Parish Selection Committee consists of the two churchwardens, and four to six other lay people, of which at least two must be members of synod (unless the parish has only one.) These lay people are usually elected by a special meeting of Vestry or the Advisory Board. The policy governing the Parish Selection Committees outlined in “Guidance on the Clerical Appointment Process in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. Appointments“.

Where do we begin?

  • Arrange a meeting date with the Area Bishop.
  • Read Canon 10 of the Diocesan Constitution and Canons.
  • Hold a special Vestry Meeting and elect your PSC representatives.
  • Elect a Chairperson for the PSC – they will coordinate communication with the Area Bishop and your PSC Coach(es).
  • Request the demographic and benchmark data from your Area Bishop’s office.
  • Read the material in the email/package (Preliminaries/FAQ; 50 Ways to Welcome your New Pastor: Canons 9, 10 and 15; “Transitions”, by Dr. Walter Deller; Fresh Start Brochure; and, an extract from the Human Rights Code of Ontario) which you receive from your Area Bishop’s office.

Where a parish wishes to advertise a vacancy and wants to go beyond the normal website/Anglican listing, the PSC must discuss this with the Area Bishop. If a parish wants to cast the net widely, then permission must be granted by the Area Bishop to intentionally conduct a search or advertise the vacancy beyond our Diocese. Under no circumstances should a vacancy advertisement be placed without your Area Bishop’s consent.

The 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. Contact Elizabeth McCaffrey at  416-363-6021 ext. 226 (1-800-668-8932) for more information.


Your PSC Coach will help the Committee:

  • Develop a parish profile which includes a realistic picture of the demographic, financial, missional and spiritual state of the parish;
  • Discern the preferred leadership qualities desired in a new incumbent (Competencies for Ordained Ministry); and,
  • Design appropriate interview questions which accurately reflect the parish’s core values and aspirations.

Click here for a chart which outlines the PSC Process.