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.

Pursuant to Canon 10, the Parish Selection Committee (“PSC”) consists of the following:

  1. One of the Churchwardens or Deputy Churchwardens currently holding office having been appointed by the Incumbent;
  2. One of the Churchwardens or Deputy Churchwardens currently holding office having been elected by the parish Vestry; and,
  3. Other members of the parish, who are eligible to vote at Vestry, not fewer than four (4) or no more than six (6) to a maximum of eight (8), to be determined by the Churchwardens and elected by Vestry. This is usually called a Slate of Candidates. A motion may be made to elect the Slate of Candidates if no other nominations are received up to the time of the presentation of this topic at the Vestry Meeting.
  4. Other nominations can be received at the Vestry Meeting and an election will then be called to determine the four (4) to six (6) remaining positions (to a maximum of eight (8)) on the Parish Selection Committee. Two Churchwardens must serve on the PSC
  5. In the case of multipoint parishes, one Churchwarden from each congregation; and such other members of the parish, not fewer than four (4) or more than six (6) to a maximum of eight (8), to be determined by the Churchwardens and to be elected by Vestry.
  6. The composition of the PSC should attempt to reflect the diverse life and communities which make up the parish.

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.