A Partner in Excellence is seeking any samples of policies and procedure manuals that are used in a parish.

Such a manual would detail the routine activities of a parish and provide step by step instructions.  It might include the following:

Calendar Scheduling




First Communion

Special Committees, ex. Flower Committee

Usher Policy and Procedures

Duties of Volunteers

Use of Church Property

Room and Meeting requests

Standing and Special Committees policies and procedures/ Duties of leaders ex. Parish Advisory

The policy section would outline the following to carry out a function of the parish:

  • define the authority required
  • sets boundaries and provides guidelines
  • delegates responsibility

Policies tell who does the task, why it is done, and under what conditions. Policies answer questions that arise during unique circumstances.

If you have any sample written policies, or even better an entire policy manual, please share it as an attachment to this forum.

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I am sharing our parish wedding handbook.  It is an attempt to place anything a bride and groom would need into one place along with all our parish policies.  We have it available in printed form but nowadays most download it from our website.


My parish doesn't have one comprehensive manual but a few brochures for weddings and baptisms. 

Here's a link to one parish's Wedding Preparation Guidelines that I thought was pretty good and so have bookmarked it. 

Attached are two documents from parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland.  The first models good policies for parish employees and the second gives policies for marriage and wedding preparation.


Excellent resources Fr. Andy.  Thanks for sharing!

Holy Spirit parish, a Partner in Excellence with the Leadership Roundtable on Church Management has provided the following Sacramental Preparation handbooks for Baptism and Weddings:


Holy Spirit parish shared their Ministry Starter Kit which has many volunteer role descriptions and outlines the scope of various ministries in their parish.


This is a great resource.  Thank you Holy Spirit!

I like the idea of policy and procedure manuals.  Can we extend that to the manuals or bylaws of pastoral and finance councils?  For example, the pastoral council guidelines for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are available for download.  These guidelines are so good that the Archdiocese of San Francisco (our competitor to the north) adapted them and offers them on its website as well.  The more we share excellent resources, the better off we'll be.

I agree with Mark. Our department has helped parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles develop "Operational Guidelines" for parish pastoral and finance councils".  These are often overlooked and extremely necessary.

On PastoralCouncils.com, there is a list of diocesan guidelines for councils.  If readers of the Forum could check the list and update it by sending the Forum links to their pastoral and finance council guidelines, I would be grateful.

May be of interest. Jim


James, thanks for sharing this.  Our parish has a recently formed Parish Council of 22 members (too many in my opinion) we spent the first several months developing and agreeing to a constitution.  The document you shared is concise and straight forward, very helpful.  Thanks. 


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