The process begins with the identification of people who may wish to take on the post, followed by informal conversations with possible stewards, all underpinned by prayer.

At this stage, there should be a careful balance between identifying those who could be a good steward and being open to all those eligible. It may be that a prospective steward is identified because others have seen the gifts and graces in them needed for the role. It could be that they feel called to offer themselves in service. Often it is the person no one has thought of who makes the best steward!

A prospective steward is then encouraged to consider the appointment. It is important that enough time is allowed for them to think and pray about the role and how they will balance it with family life and other commitments. Anyone putting themselves forward as a church steward is required to be a member of the local church or a supernumerary minister stationed in the Circuit (SO 632(1)).

Once a potential steward has agreed that they are willing to take up the role, a written nomination is given to the minister, who takes this to the General Church Meeting (GCM). The formal process of appointment happens when members of the GCM vote (SO 632(1)).

Church stewards are elected and re-elected annually at the GCM and may normally hold office for a maximum of six years (SO 607(3)). The six-year rule has many benefits. It means that no one person is over-burdened for too long; there is a steady flow of new knowledge and experience into the role; those on the fringes of the church can be encouraged into new roles; and those who feel a call to serve the church have opportunities open to them. 

Further information about the appointment of church stewards can be found in Standing Order 632. This can be found in Volume 2 of CPD.