Parochial Church Councils

 

Membership of church electoral rolls and the management of Parochial Church Meetings and Councils is governed by the Church Representation Rules 2011.

The responsibilities and duties of Parochial Church Councils (" PCCs") are set out in the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956. Amongst other matters, the Measure requires that a PCC may not acquire either (a) an interest in land, or (b) any personal property to be held on permanent trusts, without the consent of the diocesan authority (the Diocesan Board of Finance). Where any such property is acquired, it must be vested in the Diocesan Board of Finance as custodian trustee for the PCC.

Membership of church electoral rolls and the management of Parochial Church Meetings and Councils is governed by the Church Representation Rules 2011

Frequently Asked Question

Q1: Am I entitled to be elected to the PCC of my local Church?

You qualify for nomination and election if:
(a) your name is on the electoral roll of the church, and has been on the roll for at least 6 months, unless you are under 18; and
(b) you are an actual communicant (which means that you have received Communion in a Church of England church, or in a church in communion with the Church of England, at least three times during the 12 months before election); and
(c) you are at least 16 years of age.

Q2: How do I get on to the church electoral roll?

You fill in a copy of the application form prescribed by the Rules. The PCC Secretary (or the Church Electoral Roll Officer, if there is one) should be able to provide you with a copy, or you can download a copy from the link below. You can apply at any time. You are entitled to apply to be on the roll if:
(a) you are a member of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with the Church of England and resident in the parish; or
(b) you are such a member and, not being resident in the parish, you have habitually attended public worship in the parish during a period of six months prior to enrolment; or
(c) you are a member in good standing of a Church which subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity (not being a Church in communion with the Church of England) and also prepared to declare himself to be a member of the Church of England, having habitually attended public worship in the parish during a period of six months prior to enrolment.

Q3: How many people are there normally on a PCC?

It varies from parish to parish. Certain people are PCC members automatically:
(a) all clergy, deaconesses and layworkers licensed to the parish;
(b) the churchwardens and any deputy churchwardens;
(c) such of the readers licensed to the parish as the PCC decides;
(d) any person on the electoral roll of the parish who is also a member of any deanery or diocesan synod, or of the General Synod.
In addition, the annual meeting of the PCC elects a certain number of lay members. The number depends on how many names are on the church electoral roll:
(a) 6 representatives of the laity, if there are not more than 50 on the church electoral roll;
(b) 9 representatives, if there are not more than 100 on the electoral roll;
(c) where there are more than 100 names on the roll, a further 3 representatives for each 100 (or part of 100), up to a maximum of 15 members.
Additionally, the PCC may co-opt members during the course of a year, but the number of co-opted members should not exceed one-fifth of the number of elected lay members of the PCC.

Q4: How often should a PCC meet?

A PCC should meet not less than four times in each year. Meetings should be convened by the chairman. If not more than four meetings are held, they should be at quarterly intervals so far as possible.

Q5: Who can call a PCC meeting?

The chairman can at any time convene a meeting of the PCC. If he refuses or neglects to do so within seven days after a requisition for that purpose signed by not less than one-third of the members of the council has been presented to him, then those members may forthwith convene a meeting.

Q6: How much notice has to be given for a PCC meeting?sum ...

(a) Regular Meeting: Normally, at least ten clear days before any meeting of the PCC, a notice of the proposed meeting, specifying the time and place of the meeting and signed by or on behalf of the chairman of the council or the persons convening the meeting should be posted at or near the principal door of every church, or building licensed for public worship in the parish.
(b) Annual Parochial Church Meeting: The annual meeting must be convened by the minister of the parish by a notice in the form set out in section 4 of Appendix I to the Rules. The notice should be fixed on or near to the principal door of every church in the parish, and every building licensed for public worship in the parish, for a period including the last two Sundays before the day of the meeting.
(c) Special Meeting: The minister of a parish may convene a special parochial church meeting, and he must do so on a written representation by not less than one-third of the lay members of the PCC. The period of notice required is at least ten clear days.
(d) Emergency Meeting: In the case of sudden emergency or other special circumstances requiring immediate action by the council a meeting may be convened by the chairman of the council at not less than three clear days' notice in writing to the members of the council, but the quorum for the transaction of any business at such meetings is a majority of the then existing members of the council. No business should be transacted at such meeting, except as is specified in the notice convening the meeting.
(e) Extraordinary Meeting: On a written representation made to the archdeacon by not less than one-third of the lay members of the parochial church council, or by one-tenth of the persons whose names are on the roll of the parish, and deemed by the archdeacon to have been made with sufficient cause, the archdeacon must call an extraordinary meeting of the parochial church council, giving the same notice as for an emergency meeting, and shall either take the chair himself or appoint a chairman to preside. The chairman, not being otherwise entitled to attend such meeting, shall not be entitled to vote upon any resolution before the meeting.

Q7: Where can I obtain a copy of the Rules?

You can purchase a copy from Church House Publishing (price £7.99. ISBN 9780715110416) or through your local bookshop. You can also view the Rules online at the Church of Englandweb site.

Q8: Is there any limit as to how long I can be a member of the PCC?

The Rules provide that elected lay members of the PCC shall hold office from the conclusion of the annual meeting at which they were elected until the conclusion of the third annual meeting thereafter, one third retiring and being elected each year, but they shall on retirement be eligible for re-election, unless an annual meeting decides that no elected lay member of the PCC may hold office after the date of that meeting for more than a specified number of years continuously, in which case the annual meeting may also decide that after a specified interval a person who has ceased to be eligible by reason of such decision may again stand for election as representative of the laity on the PCC.