The Episcopal Church encourages all of its members to participate in the governance of the church, whether that means attending a parish’s annual meeting, serving on a vestry or bishop’s committee (two different kinds of parish governing councils), or running for diocesan wide office. We believe in what is sometimes referred to as distributed authority, so while our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe plays a special role in setting the course of our dioceses, there are well established channels through which priests, deacons and lay people exercise authority at the parish and diocesan levels and in the wider church. We believe that the church is best able to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit through such broad-based communal discernment.

We place a premium on operating in a transparent manner, and in providing members of the diocese with the information they need to for develop informed opinions about the issues before our dioceses. This includes financial information as well.

In this section of the website, you will find information on our budget, as well as on four key diocesan governing bodies:

  • The Standing Committees, which act as the bishop’s council of advice, serves as the episcopal authority of the diocese when there is no diocesan bishop, and carries out other duties
  • The Diocesan Councils, which oversee the programs and priorities of the dioceses, and oversee the development and execution of mission strategies and allocation of resources
  • The Trustees, which manages the investments of the Diocese of Western New York and several other funds
  • The Commission on Ministry, which assists the bishop in the process of developing candidates for ordained ministry or licensed lay ministry.