Attention Parish Corporations
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has forced parishes to consider alternatives to in-person meetings when holding their Annual General Meetings as outlined in Canon 20. Whether holding an in-person meeting or an electronic meeting, there are a number of guidelines and things to consider while planning for those events. At the same time, there is no definitive how-to of holding AGM’s. Each parish has its own traditions and practices and there is no “one size fits all.”
A Google search for electronic meeting platforms will provide a number of options. The size of your meeting might dictate which platform to consider; this will be true also for voting platform options. The following has no particular recommendations; factors may come down to the technical capability of those running the meetings, and cost.
Examples of meeting platforms:
· Zoom (includes a poll function that can be used for voting)
· Onstream Meetings
· Google Hangouts
Examples of voting platform (used with meeting platform):
· Election Buddy
The diocese found themselves in the same position in 2020 when it became time to plan for our Diocesan Synod. Much discussion and consultation went into this and we moved forward with the Zoom format on October 17, 2020, using the two-envelope mail in ballot system for the voting process. Information regarding the process we used can be found on our website here. You will find the video recording of the Synod on our website as well.
Canon 20 is the guiding document for parish AGM’s. Information regarding the election of lay delegated to Synod can be found in Canon 23. All of the Canons can be found on the Diocesan website here. And, all of the year-end forms can also be found on the Diocesan website here.
In the days and weeks to come, it is possible that restrictions will change based on the location of your parish. Please be sure to consult the government websites to ensure you are following the protocols for your area when planning your meeting. If you have any questions that can’t be answered elsewhere you are welcome to call the diocesan office and we will make every attempt to help you as we are able.