Fabric, Finance and Premises Committee
Introduction and Background
FFP Committee assists the parish priest in the administration of parish temporal matters. An active, well-formed FFP Committee is a key element for promoting the financial health of a parish, assuring accountability and assisting the pastor with his temporal responsibilities.
In the administration of temporal goods of the parish, Canon 532 defines the role of the pastor as the authoritative representative of the parish.
“The pastor represents the parish in all juridic affairs in accord with the norm of law; he is to see to it that the goods of the parish are administered in accord with the norms of canons 1281-1288.”
Canon 537 introduces the FFP Committee as a mandated body having an advisory and consultative role with the pastor.
“Each parish is to have a finance council which is regulated by universal law as well as by norms issued by the diocesan bishop; in this council the Christian faithful, selected according to the same norms, aid the pastor in the administration of parish goods with due regard for the prescription of canon 532.”
Every parish therefore is required to have a Parish Finance Committee, both by adherence to the Code of Canon Law and by local norms issued by the diocesan bishop. To be effective the Parish Finance Committee should meet regularly with specific agendas and should have access to all the relevant financial information and policies of the parish.
Consultive Body to Pastor
The Finance Council works closely with the parish priest, who is accountable to the diocesan bishop for the administration and stewardship of the temporal goods of the parish. The parish priest, according to Canon Law, has among his responsibilities, the responsibility for parish financial and temporal management. The Parish Finance Council is a consultative body that assists the parish priest in meeting these obligations. While the Parish Finance Council does not have decision making authority, consultation is at the heart of the decision-making process – sharing information, listening, contributing to the discussion, and promoting consensus.
Canon law states that the parish priest is obligated to consult the FFP Committee on certain matters. Although the parish priest is not obliged to follow the recommendations of the Finance Council.
In order to be effective in their responsibilities as members of the FFP Committee, members should have a love for the Church and its mission and develop a thorough understanding of the parish’s mission, goals, people and other resources. The members should have knowledge of diocesan statutes and policies regarding temporal issues and other financial matters. It is the pastor’s responsibility to give the members appropriate background and enrichment so they are able to carry out their duties.