Comments: Church Representation Rules 2011

I wonder why the Church makes the Representation Rules available for sale only in hard copy. I would have thought that this is just the sort of resource which out to be available for free on-line, especially at the present time in this season of Annual Meetings. These Rules are important to Clergy and Churchwardens, PCC, Deanery and Diocesan Synod members, yet most of these people only need to refer to them occasionally. Making the rules available in hard copy only and for sale means that the rules go unread and un-implemented and the synodical system is compromised.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Sunday, 13 March 2011 at 9:57am GMT

I agree with Richard. I wanted to check the most up to date version as I have the 2006 edition. From your article, it doesn't seem that what I was querying has changed but it would be good to be able to confirm on-line

Posted by John Wallace at Sunday, 13 March 2011 at 3:16pm GMT

It would also be the environmentally friendly thing to do. The church should lead by example here.

A searchable version would be extremely helpful. If necessary, an annual access fee or subscription could be charged per parish.

Posted by Erika Baker at Sunday, 13 March 2011 at 6:20pm GMT

Perhaps PCCs should ask their Deanery Synod reps to raise it with a view pushing the suggestion up the Synod chain?

Posted by David Willmets at Monday, 14 March 2011 at 8:55am GMT

Could somebody advise me if there is a standard form for both nominations and re-election of pcc members at APCM

Posted by S Evans at Monday, 14 March 2011 at 1:36pm GMT

I also agree with Richard Ashby. As Peter Owen notes in his introductory remarks, although the rules have been amended substantially (and many times) since by subsequent Measures and Amendment Resolutions of General Synod, their origin is Schedule 3 to the Synodical Government Measure 1969. As such, they are a form of primary legislation and ought to be readily accessible online (and without charge) to incumbents, churchwardens, PCC secretaries and others in their up-to-date form. Now that the 2011 edition has been published, incorporating the latest amendments, they could easily be put online and the Archbishops' Council (who claim to own the copyright) should arrange for this to be done without delay.

At this season of APCMs, it would be particularly helpful to be able to download the various prescribed forms contained in Appendix I. Some dioceses provide these in an interactive format on their websites, so it is worth checking.

One final tip: The published price of the CRR 2011, as published by Church House Publishing, is £7.99, but you can get them for £5.88 from Amazon (postfree for standard delivery).

Posted by David Lamming at Monday, 14 March 2011 at 6:11pm GMT

I agree. best through Amazon.
Too much rule making.

Posted by EDWARD BYGOTT at Tuesday, 15 March 2011 at 10:10am GMT

If the Church of England does not set enough store by its 'Church Representation Rules' sufficiently to make copies easily accessible, up-to-date and affordable how on earth does it expect PCC Secretaries able to make them relevant to PCC members and/or parishioners. The rules present a good discipline for all to adhere to but the importance of them is not substantiated. In effect if members do not know what they are or their purpose it is hard to persuade them otherwise without 'hands on' authority from above!!

Posted by Janet L. Mitchell at Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 2:15pm GMT

When someone submits the form to go on the electoral roll (in normal time, not the run up to the APCM) does the membership apply as soon as the Electoral Roll Officer receives it, or does it need PCC approval first?

Posted by Shaun at Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 11:08pm GMT

The answer to Shaun's question is: as soon as the electoral roll officer (ERO) adds the person's name to the roll. The ERO must report the addition to the next meeting of the PCC (CRR rule 1(8)) but there is no requirement in the rules for PCC approval or ratification.

Since a person who signs an application form for enrolment is "entitled" to have his name entered on the roll (see rule 1(2)), the ERO, whose duty it is to "keep the the roll constantly up to date by the addition and removal of names as from time to time required by these rules" (rule 1(8)), should add the applicant's name as soon as reasonably possible after receiving the form. Indeed, in view of the terms of rule 1(2), it is questionable whether the ERO can decline to enrol someone who has signed the necessary declarations, for example because the ERO doubts whether the applicant, being a non-resident in the parish, fulfils the "habitual attendance at public worship" requirement [see my article in the Ecclesiastical Law Journal (2006) 8 Ecc LJ 438 at 441-443, but compare Hill, Ecclesiastical Law, 3rd edition, page 66 footnote 13.]

Where additions or removals have been made by the ERO, rule 1(8) requires that a list of the amendments be published for not less than 14 days on or near the principal church door, together with notification of the right of appeal against any enrolment or removal as set out in rule 43 — a requirement frequently overlooked.

Posted by David Lamming at Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 2:08am GMT

Thanks. I thought that was the case, but was in another church this week and a retired priest said it was only valid after PCC approval. He may have been confusing it with the period in the run up to an APCM when forms can be submitted but not added to the roll.

Posted by Shaun at Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 1:34pm GMT

Why can't they tell us when things are available? I have been talking to the Diocesan Secretary about changes since 2006, but he never mentioned that the CRR was available in electronic form via email!! I only found this out today in the European Anglican as it was included in an article. Unfortunately this is too late for me as I only read the article after the diocesan office had closed, and our AGM is tomorrow.

Posted by John Tompkins at Friday, 25 March 2011 at 6:50pm GMT

Please can you tell me what happens if at the Annual Vestry Meeting one of the elected PCC members 2009 - 2012 is elected Churchwarden? Does there immediately become a vacancy on PCC to fill? We have our Annual Church Meeting immediately after the Annual Vestry Meeting on Tuesday 19th April.

Posted by Richard at Sunday, 10 April 2011 at 6:31pm BST

Richard

No, there is not a vacancy on the PCC in these circumstances. It is quite common for a person to be an elected member of a PCC (or a synod) and also an ex officio member at the same time.

This situation is covered by Church Representation Rule 47.

Ex-Officio Membership not to Disqualify for Election

47. No person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen a member of any body under these rules by the fact that he is also a member ex-officio of that body; and no person shall be deemed to vacate his seat as such an elected or chosen member of any body by reason only of the fact that subsequently to his election or choice he has become a member of that body ex-officio.

Posted by Peter Owen at Sunday, 10 April 2011 at 10:39pm BST

As Peter says, there is not an automatic vacancy in these circumstances.

But there's nothing to stop the newly elected Churchwarden (assuming they are indeed elected) resigning - in writing, to the PCC secretary - from his or her position as an elected lay representative, if they decide they would like to. It would seem prudent to wait until the election of Churchwardens has taken place before handing over the letter of resignation.

Posted by Richard Huss at Monday, 11 April 2011 at 11:51am BST

Following on from my last question. Can an elected PCC member elected as Churchwarden at the vestry meeting resign their PCC seat with immediate affect if they so wish?

Posted by Richard at Monday, 11 April 2011 at 1:42pm BST

Richard

Richard Huss has largely answered your question. But I can add that letters of resignation from the PCC take effect immediately on receipt by the secretary, unless the letter specifies a later date.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 11 April 2011 at 5:45pm BST

Good afternoon!

We are holding our APCM tomorrow evening and I have received 7 nominations for 6 places on our Forum (equivalent to PCC effectively) but a issue has been raised over the validity of two of the nominations regarding their entitlement to stand for election relating to how long they have been on the Church Electoral Roll. My understanding is that, as long as they are on the Roll on the day of the APCM this suffices, but Section 10 (a) of the CIR 2011 has been cited that the names must have been on the Roll for at least the previous 6 months. Is this correct please?

Posted by Andy at Wednesday, 13 April 2011 at 12:29pm BST

Andy

Yes, that is correct. Rule 10(1)(a) requires that those elected at the annual meeting must have been on the electoral roll for the preceding six months, unless they are under 18 years at the date of the election.

Posted by Peter Owen at Wednesday, 13 April 2011 at 1:23pm BST

Andy —

But note that it would be open to the PCC (if they so decided) to co-opt those who had not been on the roll for six months: see CRR rule 14(1)(h). The "six-months on the roll" requirement in rule 10(1)(a) only applies to the elected members. The qualification for co-option is either to be a clerk in Holy Orders, or to be an "actual lay communicant of 16 years of age or upwards". ("Actual communicant" is defined in rule 54(1), which includes a requirement that the person's name is "on the roll of a parish".)

Posted by David Lamming at Wednesday, 13 April 2011 at 2:40pm BST

We have a young person elected onto the PCC for 3 years in April 2010 when she was 16 years of age. Am I correct in thinking that she is able to remain as an elected member or has the age changed when you can become an elected member of PCC? I refer to Peter Owen's reply about co-opting for 16 year olds upwards dated 13th April 2011.

Posted by Richard at Friday, 22 April 2011 at 9:26pm BST

Richard - The minimum age for election to the PCC remains 16, so your young person will remain a PCC member until 2013.

Posted by Peter Owen at Saturday, 23 April 2011 at 10:07am BST

Is it appropriate/permissible for there to be a requirement for questions to the APCM to be submitted in writing before the event, with a consequential ban on questions being submitted during the meeting?

Posted by Geoff at Friday, 29 April 2011 at 7:19pm BST

There is no requirement in the rules for questions to be submitted in advance. Nor is there a requirement for anybody to answer the questions that are asked.

So I don't think it right to ban the submission of questions during the meeting. But I cannot see any harm in announcing that questions submitted in advance are more likely to get a considered response, and that those submitted at the meeting may only get an answer after the meeting.

Posted by Peter Owen at Saturday, 30 April 2011 at 11:45pm BST

This isn't really a Church Representation Rules matter, but it is canon law and this was the best place I could think of to ask.

There are proposals out for consultation to move some parishes between dioceses in Yorkshire. If an incumbent doesn't want their parish to move do their freehold rights prevent that parish moving, even if General Synod votes in favour of such changes? Does it make a difference if they are under common tenure?

Posted by Shaun at Tuesday, 3 May 2011 at 1:33pm BST

At the first meeting of our 'new' PCC after our APCM, we voted unanimously to co-opt two (electoral roll) members of our church onto the council, both of whom had been elected as deputy churchwardens at the APCM. The question of their voting rights on the PCC was raised, and discussion followed as to the 'legal' position as laid down by the C of E, &/or the diocese (Salisbury). It was generally, though not unanimously, felt that they had the same entitlements as elected members.

I felt that we should try to get clarification on the matter, and my investigations have brought me here. In a post by Peter Owen on Tuesday 19th June 2007, regarding PCC membership, he confirmed that "Co-opted members are members and have the same rights (eg to vote), duties and responsibilites as any other member such as the vicar and elected members."

As a 'new' PCC Secretary, I am still feeling my way around the rules, etc., so would it be possible to direct me to exact 'chapter and verse' within the CRRs, so that I can quote it to our PCC not only as a reassurance that we have not 'broken' or 'bent' any rules, but also as a provision for the future.

Many thanks.

Posted by Christopher at Monday, 9 May 2011 at 1:28pm BST

Co-opted members of the PCC have the same status on the PCC as any other member because

1) in rule 14(1) they are listed alongside other members without distinction, and

2) nowhere in the rules does it say that they have different rights or responsibilities to other members.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 9 May 2011 at 7:25pm BST

Please can you let me know if District Councils (DCCs) "statutory bodies" and what, if any, rights and responsibilities they have. Can they institute requests for change, govern the internal affairs fo their own church, can they make binding decisions independent of their "governing" PCCs? Or do they exist only as subsidiary consultation councils / talking shops and the PCC of the team ministry does not have to take notice of what they decide or discuss. Also how is membership of a DCC determined - by the PCC, or by the congregation of a team church having a DCC?

Posted by Leslie at Monday, 16 May 2011 at 6:02pm BST

I heard recently that there is a requirement to hold at least one communion service a month in each parish in a benefice or group. Is this correct? Where can I find written evidence? I can't find it in the CRR but I've only got the 2006 version.

Posted by Sarah at Monday, 27 June 2011 at 9:32am BST

Sarah

You need to look in the Canons for the rules on how often services must be held. For your query you need Canons B14 and B14A. You can download the Canons (either complete or just Section B) from here.

http://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/structure/churchlawlegis/canons.aspx

I cannot see any mention of a minimum of once a month, but it may be that this is what bishops (either generally or in your diocese) require.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 27 June 2011 at 10:01am BST

I could't go to my APCM or the preceding PCC meeting as I wasn't well and have subsequently discovered that I have been dropped from my PCC on the gounds that I had served for too long. My PCC Secretary has sent me a copy of the minutes stating this: " The Rector began his report by informing the PCC that all present Lay Members had completed their term of office and thanked them for their contribution to the running of xxxxx Church. The present system as instructed by the Diocese is to retire and elect one third of Lay Members each year, having served one year only. The full term should be a maximum of three years and the relevant members should not be eligible for re-election for the minimum of one year. As all the present Lay Members had been serving for well over the designated years, it was decided to adopt the Diocesan model as from this coming year from APCM 2011 to APCM 2012., with the usual five Lay Members as opposed to nine as laid down by the Diocese." Can anyone confirm that this is a correct procedure, please?

Posted by Terry Corbett at Monday, 1 August 2011 at 11:47am BST

Terry

The default rule is that PCC members serve for three years after their election, and there is no limitation on how many times they may be re-elected. The APCM should elect one-third of the PCC members each year.

But the APCM can decide that elected membership is for one year at a time and/or that there is a maximum number of consecutive terms of membership.

The "Diocese" cannot make this decision for the parish, although it can of course offer guidance which the APCM can follow or not as it chooses.

Also note that this does not apply to the parish's representatives on the deanery synod. These must be elected for three years at a time (in 2011, 2014 etc) without restriction on re-election.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 1 August 2011 at 4:16pm BST

Thank you for that, Peter

Posted by Terry Corbett at Tuesday, 2 August 2011 at 10:14am BST

May I add a few more details to Peter's reply to Terry Corbett? (1) Although the APCM may decide that there should be a limit (specified) on the number of years continuous service by a PCC member and decide also the minimum interval after which such a person may stand again for election, such a resolution is not retrospective: see CRR rule 17. Accordingly, your rector was in error if he sought to prevent anyone standing again on the basis of adopting the diocesan model for the year 2011 to 2012. (2) The minutes you cite refer to electing "the usual five Lay Members as opposed to nine as laid down by the Diocese." If there is to be a change in the number of members elected, such resolution by the APCM is not to take effect until the next ensuing annual meeting: see CRR rule 14(1)(g). (3) It is for the APCM to decide whether to follow the 'default' rule (r.16(1)), with PCC members serving for three years, one third retiring each year, or to elect the whole council (excepting the deanery synod members, who serve for three years) annually: see r.16(3). A decision that elected membership is for one year at a time must be reviewed every six years: r.10(4).
You don't name the diocese concerned. It would be interesting to know which diocese has sought to give such instruction/guidance.

Posted by David Lamming at Tuesday, 2 August 2011 at 5:27pm BST

Our stipendary curate attends PCC meetings and is a valued member of the PCC. Please can you tell me under what capacity he attends PCC meetings? As a co-opted member, ex-officio member or as something else?

Posted by Richard at Sunday, 28 August 2011 at 10:15pm BST

Richard

The members of the PCC include "all clerks in Holy Orders beneficed in or licensed to the parish" (rule 14(1)(a)). Your curate will have such a licence and is therefore an ex officio member.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 29 August 2011 at 11:15am BST

The form for applying to be on an electoral roll includes the declaration 'I am a member of the Church of England'. What is there to prevent someone who for example is a practising Roman Catholic making that declaration? I cannot find a definition of 'member of the Church of England' anywhere so how can it be argued that such a person is not entitled to make that declaration? It seems nonsense if they can.

Posted by Sarah at Tuesday, 6 September 2011 at 3:05pm BST

Sarah —

Rule 1(2) of the CRR provides: "A lay person shall be entitled to have his name entered on the roll of a parish if he is baptised, of sixteen years or upwards, has signed an application form for enrolment set out in Appendix I of these rules and declares himself either (a) to be a member of the Church of England or of a Church in communion therewith resident in the parish; or (b) to be such a member and, not being resident in the parish, to have habitually attended public worship in the parish during a period of six months prior to enrolment; or (c) to be a member in good standing of a Church which subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity (not being 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."

The form, therefore, is consistent with the rule.

There is no definition of membership of the Church of England in the CRR (or, as you point out, anywhere else). Neither baptism nor habitual attendance at worship can be the criterion since these requirements appear separately in the rule. Nor can it mean a person whose name is on the roll, or the matter would be circular. Membership of the Church of England appears, therefore, to be a self-defining concept so that, if an applicant for enrolment signs the declaration, he is "entitled" to be enrolled and the electoral roll officer should enrol him. (See my article at 8 EccLJ 438.) Perhaps this is in recognition of the fact that the Church of England as a whole has no legal status or, as Lord Hobhouse put it in a case in 2003, “is not itself a legal entity.”

Since the Roman Catholic Church subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, a practising RC, if "also prepared to declare himself to be a member of the Church of England" and an habitual attender at public worship in the parish, is entitled to be enrolled, however odd this may seem (rule 1(2)(c)). Indeed, the words "prepared to declare himself" would seem to underline that membership of the Church of England is a self-defining concept.

Posted by David Lamming at Wednesday, 7 September 2011 at 6:34pm BST

Thank you David for your reply. I too am surprised that the declaration 'I am a member of the Church of England' is so ill-defined that it appears a practising Roman Catholic can legitimately be on an electoral roll. In our parish there are RCs who do not want to lose the C of E village church because they feel the village is not a proper village without a church. So they have declared themselves members of the Church of England and are now on the electoral roll, even though they are practising Roman Catholics who worship at the Roman Catholic Church in the neighbouring town. One of them is now prepared to take communion in our parish church in accordance with Canon B 15A so that as an actual communicant she can be a member of the PCC. There then seems to be no end to what she, a RC, is qualified to do in the governance of the C of E: churchwarden, deanery synod representative and, once a deanery synod representative, could be elected to the diocesan synod and then general synod.
Is this a correct but unintended consequence of the rules?

Posted by Sarah at Wednesday, 7 September 2011 at 10:23pm BST

Someone applying for electoral roll membership under CRR 1(2)(c) needs to be "a member *in good standing* of a Church which subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity".

Would such a Roman Catholic, if regularly receiving Holy Communion in the CofE or playing such a part in its life as you suggest, continue to be "in good standing" in the Roman Catholic church? I had sort of taken this clause to imply that you could declare yourself to be CofE as well *so long as* your other denomination was OK with that.

Posted by Richard Huss at Saturday, 10 September 2011 at 2:28pm BST

The earlier thread of hardcopy only of the CRR significantly discriminates against people with visual impairment - as someone with such and being a PCC secretary this gives me a problem. Sadly, the CofE seems able to discriminate against disability unchallenged as I find continually in terms of accessing documents, information, educational provision etc.

Posted by Trevor Ride at Wednesday, 28 September 2011 at 9:04pm BST

I was told many years ago that parochial representatives to a deanery synod must be confirmed. Is that still correct?

Posted by Ken Shorey at Sunday, 13 November 2011 at 8:27am GMT

Ken

To be elected to the deanery synod (or to the PCC) a person must be an "actual communicant". This term is defined in the rules:

“actual communicant” means a person who has received Communion according to the use of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with the Church of England at least three times during the twelve months preceding the date of his election or appointment being a person whose name is on the roll of a parish and is either —
(a) confirmed or ready and desirous of being confirmed; or
(b) receiving the Holy Communion in accordance with the provisions of Canon B 15A paragraph 1(b)

So in some (probably very limited) circumstances it is possible for a person who is not confirmed to be elected.

Posted by Peter Owen at Sunday, 13 November 2011 at 12:06pm GMT

Are there any laid down rules as to the number of times per year a pcc member must attend meetings?

Posted by Roger Bryant at Monday, 14 November 2011 at 9:30am GMT

Roger —
No — unlike (civil) parish councils where a councillor ceases to be a member of the council if he or she fails to attend any meetings of the council for a period of six months and his or her apologies have not been received or accepted by the council. The Church Representation Rules (CRR) contain no similar provision.
Such a non-attending PCC member could (and, perhaps, should) be encouraged to resign (by notice in writing to the PCC secretary: see CRR rule 49) since, plainly, he or she is not participating in the council's duty to consult with the minister on matters of general concern and importance to the parish and to co-operate with the minister in promoting in the parish the whole mission of the church: see section 2 of the PCC (Powers) Measure 1956.
Also, at the next APCM when candidates are proposed for election to the PCC, there is no reason why those present should not be informed before voting of the attendance record of those putting themselves forward for re-election.

Posted by David Lamming at Tuesday, 15 November 2011 at 6:45pm GMT

Six out of thirteen members of our PCC have sent in apologies for tonights meeting. Do I have a valid PCC meeting?

Posted by William at Wednesday, 16 November 2011 at 4:32pm GMT

The quorum is one-third. So you need at least five members present to be quorate.

Posted by Peter Owen at Wednesday, 16 November 2011 at 9:16pm GMT

I am a Committee Secretary responsible for minute taking.

Once minutes have been approved, can I post them on our Church website, in their entirety?

I have a query that our Finances, which will have been discussed at Committee and the Treasurers report formally accepted, should be included as an integral part of the minutes, so therefore should be published.

I have read all kinds of advice on the role of minute taking, what to include and what not to include, but what is the overall opinion and where does it state that minutes. once approved, should be posted on notice board in porch of Church?

Thank You

Posted by Kenneth Hobbs at Sunday, 27 November 2011 at 11:27pm GMT

Here are the rules on access to PCC minutes.

(d) Minutes of meetings of the council shall be available to all members of the Council. The members shall also have access to past minutes which the Chairman and Vice-Chairman jointly determine to be relevant to current Council business.

(e) The independent examiner or auditor of the council’s financial statements, the bishop, the archdeacon and any person authorised by one of them in writing shall have access to the approved minutes of council meetings without the authority of the council.

(f) Other persons whose names are on the church electoral roll may have access to the approved minutes of Council meetings held after the annual parochial church meeting in 1995 except any minutes deemed by the Council to be confidential.

(g) Other persons may have access to the minutes of Council meetings only in accordance with a specific authorisation of the Council provided that, where minutes have been deposited in the diocesan record office pursuant to the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978, the authorisation of the council may be dispensed with.

So, before you put the minutes on the website you need a specific authorisation from the PCC. This could be a general authorisation for all minutes; there is no need to pass a resolution for each set of minutes.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 28 November 2011 at 10:17am GMT

During an interregnum, if the vice-chair of the PCC either hasn't been appointed or isn't present / doesn't want to chair, is it in order for a retired priest holding the title 'honourary curate' to chair a PCC meeting or does it have to be a lay person?

Posted by Peter at Wednesday, 30 November 2011 at 9:36pm GMT

I assume the retired priest has permission to officiate in the parish. In that case he/she can be the chair of the PCC but you do have to ask for the bishop's permission.

Alternatively, if the vice-chair is unavailable (which I take to include unwilling) then the PCC can choose one of those present to chair the meeting. So if you co-opt the retired priest onto the PCC, then he/she could be chosen to chair the meeting. In this case you do have to chose the chair at each meeting.

Posted by Peter Owen at Thursday, 1 December 2011 at 9:34am GMT

If there are changes made to the Electoral Roll(additions and deletions) does the PCC need to be informed at their next PCC meeting or only at the APCM? What would the ERO report, if such a report needs to be given? eg 3 names added and 1 name deleted or do the names need to be made known to PCC members in case a PCC member wishes to challenge the alteration to the roll?

Thanks

Posted by Richard at Thursday, 1 December 2011 at 9:49pm GMT

It is also a requirement that a list of amendments to the roll is displayed in church for 14 days. The notice must also mention the right of appeal. This only makes sense if the names of those added or removed are given.

By the way the members of the PCC have no more (or less) right to object than any other member of the electoral roll.

Posted by Peter Owen at Thursday, 1 December 2011 at 11:27pm GMT

In a newly created team - 2 congregations, 2 DCCs, 2 stipendiary clergy (1 T. Rector, 1 T. Vicar) - if neither DCC secretary nor anyone else wants to be Secretary, is it permitted for the T.V. to be so elected? They're quite happy to do the job.
Thanks.

Posted by Elspeth at Sunday, 4 December 2011 at 9:35am GMT

The PCC can appoint any one of its members to be secretary. Failing such appointment they can appoint "some other fit person" to be secretary. Such person does not thereby become a member of the PCC (although if qualified he/she could be co-opted).

There is no requirement that the secretary be a lay person.

Posted by Peter Owen at Sunday, 4 December 2011 at 11:49am GMT

Peter - Thankyou very much, that's a big help.

Posted by Elspeth at Tuesday, 6 December 2011 at 10:52am GMT

RE: Churchwardens

What happens if there are no candidates for the office of Churchwarden.

W Noller

Posted by Win Noller at Tuesday, 24 January 2012 at 3:52pm GMT

Preparation of new Electoral Rolls was last carried out in 2007. I remember that General Synod had brought it forward by a year from 2008 to 2007. Can anyone tell me why? And will the next complete revision therefore be in 2012 (a gap of 5 years again) or will it be in 2013 (back to a 6 year gap)?
Thank you

Posted by Sarah at Thursday, 2 February 2012 at 10:12am GMT

Sarah

Preparing a new roll in 2007 was a one-off change made to allow the most up-to-date roll to be used for elections to deanery synod. Subsequent new rolls will be prepared at six-year intervals in 2013, 2019 etc.

Posted by Peter Owen at Thursday, 2 February 2012 at 1:04pm GMT

We are just about to review the current Electoral Roll. Please can you tell me when a lay person can be removed from the Electoral Roll?

1. Died
2. Not attended a church Service without good reason for over 6 months?
3. Request made in writing from the person?

Are these all correct and are there any other circumstances?

Thanks

Posted by Richard at Monday, 13 February 2012 at 8:00pm GMT

Richard

Your items 1 and 3 are correct. Item 2 only applies to those not resident in the parish.

There are other reasons for removing a name from the roll, and here is the full list.

Rule 1(9) Subject to the provisions of this rule, a person’s name shall, as the occasion arises, be removed from the roll, if he —

(a) has died; or

(b) becomes a clerk in Holy Orders; or

(c) signifies in writing his desire that his name should be removed; or

(d) ceases to reside in the parish, unless after so ceasing he continues, in any period of six months, to attend public worship in the parish, unless prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause; or

(e) is not resident in the parish and has not attended public worship in the parish during the preceding six months, not having been prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause; or

(f) was not entitled to have his name entered on the roll at the time when it was entered.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 13 February 2012 at 10:00pm GMT

Unfortunately, both of our churchwardens resigned at the same time, during the year. An interim churchwarden was elected to serve until the next APCM but does not want to serve after that. What happens please if there are no nominations for churchwardens at the APCM

Posted by June Day at Friday, 17 February 2012 at 2:59pm GMT

Can the Treasurer be appointed an ex-officio member of the PCC? If so, should this be done at the APCM or a PCC meeting?

Posted by John at Friday, 17 February 2012 at 5:12pm GMT

The PCC appoints the treasurer; it is nothing to do with the APCM.

John

First preference is to appoint one of the PCC members to be treasurer.

Failing this one of the churchwardens shall be treasurer, or the PCC can appoint a non-member.

If the PCC appoints a non-member to be treasurer, that person does not thereby become a PCC member, ie the treasurer is not an ex-officio member of the PCC.

But the PCC can, if it so chooses, co-opt that person to the PCC (provided that he/she is eligible to be co-opted).

Posted by Peter Owen at Friday, 17 February 2012 at 6:19pm GMT

Have seen that normally you need to be confirmed to go on PCC etc, but what is position where church now allows children (in practice all people) to receive communion before confirmation? Do they now count as communicant members for purposes of PCC membership (once they are over 16)?

Posted by Abigail Shepherd at Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 5:34pm GMT

Did ask this about a week ago but cannot see it has been posted.
In light of Children now being able to receive communion before confirmation, thereby being communicant members once they reach 16 how does this affect the rules for PCC membership? CAn't help feeling the CofE needs to tighten up its wording for this rule now over 16s can be communicant members and not confirmed. In practice this has meant in our church that all baptised people are able to receive communion if not confirmed, even though policy says children.

SS notes: sorry, original went into Junk, now rescued.

Posted by Abigail Shepherd at Monday, 27 February 2012 at 9:49am GMT

Abigail

The rules have not been changed. PCC members must be "actual communicants". Amongst other things an actual communicant must be "confirmed or ready and desirous of being confirmed".

Your parish does not appear to be following the rules for admission to communion before confirmation, as these rules only apply to children, and they require the bishop to give permission.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 27 February 2012 at 12:54pm GMT

We have someone in our congregation who was ordained as a Church of England minister c.20 years ago but now works for hiself in his own business company. He is not licensed to our parish or, as far as I am aware, any other parish. Can he be on the Electoral Roll?

Posted by Sarah at Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:56pm GMT

Sarah

No - members of the electoral roll must be lay people. By definition (see rule 54) a clerk in holy orders is not a lay person. It is possible for an ordained person to in effect renounce his/her orders and be treated a a lay person, but this involves a legal process with its associated costs. Not holding the bishop's licence or permission to officiate is not sufficient.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:44pm GMT

Thanks for that reply. Our policy approved by the Bishop says Children, but obviously once they reach 16 they will be 'adult' communicant members even if not confirmed. When I raised the point I was told that Communion is now available to all baptised people, after all we don't ask for proof of confirmation of adults at the communion table. So the effect of this policy is that communion is for all. But even if it was not open to all adults, it remains that once children reach 16 and are commonly receiving communion they will be communicant members even if not confirmed. My issue is that our vicar has said that he will not be encouraging (nor discouraging) confirmation, so as many teens will not know what confirmation is they are unlikely to think about being confirmed. Last year I am told that someone was elected to PCC who was not confirmed - indeed the Vicar told me that confirmation is not a requirement of PCC membership - hence me checking it out! 'REady and desirous' to be confirmed is a bit of a cop out - in our diocese each deanery gets 2 confirmations a year, so little excuse not to be confirmed within the year.

Posted by Abigail Shepherd at Monday, 27 February 2012 at 4:40pm GMT

Are there any rules about how soon before an APCM the Annual Report has to be out?

Posted by Abigail Shepherd at Monday, 27 February 2012 at 7:55pm GMT

Abigail

Rule 9(3)(b) requires the accounts to be displayed for "a continuous period of at least seven days before the annual meeting, including at least one Sunday when the church is used for worship, on a notice board either inside or outside the church." There is nothing about making copies available.

So provided you have a service in church on the Sunday before the annual meeting, it is sufficient to display them for the seven days immediately preceding the meeting.

Other reports must be received by the annual meeting, but there is nothing in the rules about making copies available in advance. It appears to be sufficient to read them out at the meeting.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 27 February 2012 at 10:26pm GMT

Are postal votes allowed at the APCM? Whenever the meeting is held there is always some group who are disenfranchised - weekday evening means only one in a married couple with young children can go, on a Sunday morning after the service means families with young children will not stay unless there is lunch and provision for the children during the meeting, morning meeting means the students and young adults are less likely to be there as they tend to come to the evening meeting, during the service means Sunday School teachers are excluded!!!

Posted by Abigail Shepherd at Tuesday, 28 February 2012 at 9:17am GMT

Abigail —

Yes, if the APCM so resolves.

CCR rule 12(2) provides: "The annual meeting may pass a resolution which provides that any person entitled to attend the annual meeting and vote in the election of parochial representatives of the laity to the PCC or to the deanery synod or to both that council and the synod may make application in the form set out in section 4A of Appendix I for a postal vote."

Rule 12(3) then sets out the procedure where, at the APCM, it emerges that there is to be a contested election for either the PCC or the deanery synod. (This may not emerge until the meeting as candidates can be proposed at the meeting: see rule 11(2).)

However, applications for a postal vote must be received "by the date specified in the notice convening the annual meeting".

The effect of this is that a resolution at this year's APCM to allow postal votes would not take effect until the 2013 APCM. This is stated explicitly in rule 12(4), which also provides that a resolution to allow postal votes must be approved by two-thirds of the persons present and voting at the APCM.

Posted by David Lamming at Tuesday, 28 February 2012 at 7:29pm GMT

If someone is resident in the parish but never attends church at all, are we still obliged to keep them on our electoral roll for as long as they wish to remain on it?

Posted by Gill at Thursday, 1 March 2012 at 10:20pm GMT

Gill

Yes.

Posted by Peter Owen at Friday, 2 March 2012 at 12:49am GMT

Can members of the United Reform Church who have recently decided to attend a C of E church be invited to join the electoral roll, without being confirmed in the C of E?

Posted by Sarah at Friday, 2 March 2012 at 10:09pm GMT

Sarah

Nobody has to be confirmed to be eligible to join the electoral roll.

Here are the eligibility rules.

A lay person shall be entitled to have his name entered on the roll of a parish if he is baptised, of sixteen years or upwards, has signed an application form for enrolment set out in Appendix I of these rules and declares himself either—

(a) to be a member of the Church of England or of a Church in communion therewith resident in the parish; or

(b) to be such a member and, not being resident in the parish, to have habitually attended public worship in the parish during a period of six months prior to enrolment; or

(c) to be 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.

Provided that where a lay person will have his sixteenth birthday after the intended revision of the electoral roll or the preparation of a new roll but on or before the date of the annual parochial church meeting, he may complete a form of application for enrolment and his name shall be enrolled but with effect from the date of his birthday.

The URC is not a "a Church in communion with the Church of England" but it does subscribe to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, so members of the URC can join the electoral roll if they satisfy the rest of paragraph (c). Although not stated explicitly I think it is implicit in paragraph (a) that the person is not a member of another Church.

Posted by Peter Owen at Saturday, 3 March 2012 at 10:42am GMT

Is there a limit to how many co-opted people can serve on the PCC. We are likely to have at the APCM people willing to serve on PCC, but have not yet been on the electoral roll for 6 months. Would it be the new PCC that would agree the co-opting of can it be done at the APCM?

Posted by Richard at Sunday, 4 March 2012 at 10:50pm GMT

Richard

1) There is a limit on the number of co-opted members on the PCC. It is one-fifth of the "ordinary" elected members (ie not including deanery synod reps and churchwardens), or two, whichever is larger.

So, if you have 15 elected members you can co-opt three people, but if you have 12 or fewer you can co-opt only two.

2) The PCC does the co-opting, not the APCM.

Posted by Peter Owen at Sunday, 4 March 2012 at 11:30pm GMT

One of the Parish churches in our Benefice has no churchwardens, no deanery synod rep and only two PCC members. The two PCC members say that they are stepping down at this year's APCM. What happens after April if there are no churchwardens or PCC members?

Michael

Posted by Michael Turner at Tuesday, 6 March 2012 at 10:20am GMT

Michael —

Your question suggests that the parish is no longer viable as a separate parish and that the diocesan mission and pastoral committee should consider making a pastoral scheme that would merge your parish with another in the benefice that does have churchwardens and an effective PCC.

In the short term, however, the Church Representation Rules contain certain relevant provisions. In particular, rule 53(5) requires the rural dean to make a report to the bishop in any case where a parish omits to prepare or maintain an electoral roll, maintain a PCC, or to hold the annual meeting, including the cause thereof. Rule 53(1)(a) (and an equivalent provision in section 10 of the Churchwardens Measure 2001) empowers the diocesan bishop "to make provision for any matter not herein provided for."

A useful paper, "Parishes with no churchwardens and no PCCs" has been prepared by the Legal Advisory Commission of the General Synod. It's too long to cut and paste into this blog, but you can download a copy from the C of E website. Visit www.churchofengland.org and type "no churchwardens" into the search box: the paper will be the first document in the list produced.

I suggest, also, that you alert your archdeacon to the impending problem and seek his advice.

Posted by David Lamming at Tuesday, 6 March 2012 at 4:46pm GMT

A few more questions:

What are the actual responsibilities of the PCC?

Do sidesmen (sidespersons) have to be on the Electoral Roll? - have vague recollection of seeing this somewhere, but now cannot find where.

Are Lay Readers (Licensed Lay Ministers) automatically on the PCC or do they have to elected like anyone else?

Posted by Abigail Shepherd at Wednesday, 7 March 2012 at 11:05pm GMT

Abigail

I'll answer the two easy questions.

Sidespeople do have to be on the electoral roll of the parish. [rule 10(2)]

Readers are not automatically on the PCC, but they can stand for election like anybody else. In addition the APCM can decided that some or all of the readers shall be PCC members. [rule 14(1)(e)]

Posted by Peter Owen at Thursday, 8 March 2012 at 10:24am GMT

I am unable to find a suggested agenda for either the Annual Vestry Meeting or Annual Parochial Meeting - does such a thing exist, which also suggests a starting agenda for the PCC? Your help would be appreciated.

Posted by Carol at Saturday, 10 March 2012 at 4:09pm GMT

The only purpose of the "Annual Vestry Meeting" is to elect churchwardens, so there is little need for a suggested agenda. I think most churches receive the minutes of the previous year's meeting and then have the election.

The business of the Annual Parochial Church meeting is specified in these sections of rule 9.

(1) The annual meeting shall receive from the parochial church council and shall be free to discuss:—
(a) a report on changes in the roll since the last annual parochial church meeting or, in a year in which a new roll is prepared, a report on the numbers entered on the new roll;
(b) an annual report on the proceedings of the parochial church council and the activities of the parish generally;
(c) the financial statements of the parochial church council for the year ending on the 31st December immediately preceding the meeting, independently examined or audited as provided by paragraph (3) hereof;
(d) a report upon the fabric, goods and ornaments of the church or churches of the parish, under section 5 of the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991; and
(e) a report on the proceedings of the deanery synod.

(5) The annual meeting shall in the manner provided by rule 11—
(a) elect in every third year parochial representatives of the laity to the deanery synod;
(b) elect parochial representatives of the laity to the parochial church council;
(c) appoint sidesmen;
(d) appoint the independent examiner or auditor to the council for a term of office ending at the close of the next annual meeting, provided that such person shall not be a member of the council;
and the elections and appointments shall be carried out in the above order.

(7) Any person entitled to attend the annual meeting may ask any question about parochial church matters, or bring about a discussion of any matter of parochial or general interest, by moving a general resolution or by moving to give any particular recommendation to the council in relation to its duties.

In addition the official notice of the APCM includes a summary of the business. You can download a copy of this here:

http://www.liverpool.anglican.org/userfiles/file/Church%20&%20Society/APCM/Notice_of_APCM.pdf

So you need to include everything listed above on the APCM agenda. But item 1(b) can be interpreted to allow almost anything to be discussed.

Posted by Peter Owen at Saturday, 10 March 2012 at 6:58pm GMT

I am preparing the AGM reports and nominations for the 4 PCC vacancies. It currently looks like there will be more nominations then vacancies. The current treasurer believes that she is an ex officio member (this has never been mentioned before and her current term is up) is this true and if it is who can be an ex officio member.

Posted by Caroline Radford at Sunday, 18 March 2012 at 9:50pm GMT

Caroline —

1. The treasurer, who is appointed by the PCC, not the APCM, is not an ex officio member of the PCC. She must, therefore, stand for election at the APCM (I am assuming that the APCM has not previously passed a resolution, pursuant to CRR rule 17, limiting the number of years someone may serve on the PCC before taking a break from membership.) If she fails to be re-elected, it would be open to the PCC (if they think fit) to co-opt her to the council, in which case her term of office would be until the conclusion of the 2013 APCM: see CRR rule 14(1)(h).

2. The ex-officio members of the PCC are set out in CRR rule 14(1)(a)-(f). In summary, the main categories are:
(a) all clerks in Holy Orders beneficed in or licensed to the parish;
(b) any deaconess or lay worker licensed to the parish;
(d) the churchwardens;
(e) such, if any, of the readers licensed to the parish, and whose names are on the electoral roll, as the APCM may determine;
(f) all those on the electoral roll who are lay members of the deanery synod, diocesan synod or the General Synod.

Posted by David Lamming at Monday, 19 March 2012 at 5:02pm GMT

Can anyone tell me whether typed up minutes need to be passed to the Chair first for approval before sending out to the remaining PCC members?

Posted by Sally at Monday, 19 March 2012 at 9:06pm GMT

I understand our PCC can have a maximum of 2 co-opted members. What happens if those 2 co-opted places are taken up by the Youthworker and Childrens worker, but the PCC need to appoint a Treasurer from outside the current PCC membership? In what capacity can that person attend PCC meetings? Is it by invitation only?

Thanks

Posted by Richard at Monday, 26 March 2012 at 9:14pm BST

In an election for Churchwardens, where they all satisfy the requirements of age, electoral roll membership and being regular communicants, is it in order to also require them to sign a statement to always support the incumbent, i.e. never speak against him/her? And if a candidate refuses to sign such a statement is it in order to announce it at the meeting prior to the election?

Posted by David at Thursday, 29 March 2012 at 9:26pm BST

Hi Peter and others :),

Please can you tell me if it is possible for someone to be elected as a Deputy Parish Warden (we are a Team Ministry of 3 churches) after the date of the ADCM? Would be utterly grateful for as speedy a response as possible if you have the time. Oh, and Im so glad to have found this website...Ive been involved in the C of E for 15 years and this is the first thing I have come across that seems to properly explain things openly and more especially very usefully.

Posted by Rob Elliott at Sunday, 1 April 2012 at 9:27am BST

Rob

You will have to consult the scheme that set up your DCCs and provided for the election of deputy parish wardens. But unless it says otherwise my advice is that if you have a vacancy between ADCMs (eg because you fail to elect a deputy warden at the ADCM), then you call a special DCM later to elect someone to fill the vacancy. (I think that is a long way to answer "yes" to your question.)

Posted by Peter Owen at Sunday, 1 April 2012 at 5:08pm BST

If someone is elected to PCC for 3 year term and then fails to come to meetings or respond to correspondence asking why, can they be removed from PCC to allow someone else to fill the vacancy?

Posted by Jane at Tuesday, 3 April 2012 at 4:52pm BST

Jane - David Lamming answered a similar query on Tuesday, 15 November 2011, which you can read above. But, briefly, the answer to your question is "no".

Posted by Peter Owen at Tuesday, 3 April 2012 at 8:59pm BST

Richard —

Responding to your question on 26 March: Para 1(e)(i) in Appendix II to the Church Representation Rules provides:

"The council may appoint one of their number to act as treasurer solely or jointly. Failing such appointment, the office of treasurer shall be discharged either -
by such of the churchwardens as are members of the council or, if there is only one such churchwarden, by that churchwarden solely; or
by some other fit person who shall not thereby become a member of the council, provided that such person may be co-opted to the council in accordance with the provisions of rule 14(1)(h)."

It is implicit in this rule that the PCC treasurer is not necessarily a member of the council. Obviously, though, his or her attendance at meetings will be necessary so that he/she can report on the current state of the PCC finances and advise the council on the financial implications of any decisions it may be taking. He or she should, therefore, be invited to attend all PCC meetings, though whether he/she stays (or needs to stay) for the whole meeting may depend on what is on the agenda.

Posted by David Lamming at Friday, 6 April 2012 at 1:25pm BST

is there an upper age limit for a church warden to be newly elected into the post???

Posted by Caroline at Sunday, 8 April 2012 at 8:29am BST

Caroline - there is no upper limit.

Posted by Peter Owen at Sunday, 8 April 2012 at 12:58pm BST

Annual meeting coming up. There are only two nominations for Churchwarden. Last time this happened the chairman simply said '2 vacancies, 2 nominations - all those in favour show'. i.e. no opportunity to disapprove of one or other'. Is that in order? Or should he take each one and allow people to show in favour or against?

Posted by John at Tuesday, 10 April 2012 at 10:02am BST

Can a husband and wife be on the same PCC?

Posted by Jo Earl at Saturday, 14 April 2012 at 9:47pm BST

Jo —
Yes, provided each of them satisfies the qualifications for membership set out in CRR rule 10(1).

Posted by David Lamming at Sunday, 15 April 2012 at 12:07pm BST

I am only a co-opted member of Deanery Synod, acting as Deanery Treasurer, as I have never been elected by the APCM as a Deanery Synod representative for the Parish. What is my true position in relation to membership of the PCC? Since being co-opted by Deanery Synod, I have continued to be elected to the PCC each year as an ordinary lay member. (Our APCM resolved some while ago to remove the 3-year rule for elected lay members). It has now been suggested that I should, in fact, be ex officio on the PCC by virtue of my position on Deanery Synod. Do co-opted members of Deanery Synod have the same automatic rights as elected members when it comes to membership of the PCC?

Posted by Christine at Monday, 16 April 2012 at 12:01am BST

Christine —

Yes, if you are a properly co-opted member of the House of Laity of your deanery synod then you are an ex-officio member of your PCC (provided your name is on the electoral roll of the parish) until 31 May 2014 (the end of the present triennium, new elections to the deanery synod being due at the 2014 APCMs.)

The relevant rules are CRR 24(7) and 14(1). Rule 24(7) entitles both the House of Clergy and the House of Laity of a deanery synod to co-opt "additional members of their respective houses" being, in the case of lay persons "actual communicant members of the C of E of 16 years or upwards." The number of co-opted members of either house is limited to 5% of the total number of members of the house, or 3, whichever is the greater. (In practice, this is likely to be 3, as there will be very few deanery synods where the membership of the House of Laity is 80+.) That a co-opted member is a full member is emphasised by the provision in rule 24(7) requiring the deanery synod secretary to send the names and addresses of co-opted members to the diocesan electoral registration officer (so that you will have a vote in this year's diocesan synod elections and, in a General Synod election year — next due in 2015 — in that election.)

CRR rule 14(1) states that the PCC "shall consist of ... (f) all persons whose names are on the roll of the parish and who are lay members of any deanery synod, diocesan synod or the General Synod."

You can, though, still be elected as an ordinary member of your PCC, if you or the APCM wish, as rule 47 provides: "No person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen a member of any body under these rules by the fact that he is also a member ex-officio of that body." So, if, at next year's APCM (or this year's, if you haven't yet held it) you want to leave your elected seat on the PCC open for someone else to take, you can do so as you will remain an ex-officio PCC member under rule 14(1)(f).

Posted by David Lamming at Monday, 16 April 2012 at 9:17pm BST

Christine and David -

David appears to have overlooked CRR 31 (2) and (3) which both include the provision that the electors for the diocesan synod do not include co-opted members of the deanery synod.

There is a similar provision in CRR 35 (3)(a) for elections to the House of Laity of the General Synod.

Posted by Peter Owen at Tuesday, 17 April 2012 at 12:33am BST

Thank you, Peter, for pointing out my oversight. I should have been alerted to check the point by the words at the end of CRR rule 29(1), which requires that co-opted members are to be "listed separately in the appropriate register", but they are still listed in the "register of clerical electors" and the "register of lay electors." One wonders what the point is of listing co-opted members (clergy or lay) in a register of electors if they do not have a vote! Something, perhaps, for General Synod to address when it next revises the CRR.

It remains the case, however, that Christine is a full member of her deanery synod for the purpose of CRR rule 14(1)(f), and thus an ex-officio member of her PCC.

Posted by David Lamming at Tuesday, 17 April 2012 at 12:22pm BST

Can a lay person still be Vice Chairman on a PCC?

Posted by Nick at Wednesday, 18 April 2012 at 9:19am BST

Nick

The vice-chairman must be a lay member.

Posted by Peter Owen at Wednesday, 18 April 2012 at 10:57am BST

According to Provision 3 of the Churchwardens Measure 2001, churchwardens have to stand down after 6 years and cannot stand again for 2 years. Provided that a meeting of the parishioners may by resolution decide that this section shall not apply in relation to the parish concerned.

So here is my question, please. One of two churchwardens stands down after 6 years in April (I think she / he might be allowed to continue in office until the end of July?). The other churchwarden continues in office having not reached the 6 year point. Nobody else comes forward for election to churchwarden. The parishioners meeting decides by resolution that the section mentioned above does apply to the parish. In a month’s time (or after July if necessary) another parishioners’ meeting is called and the outgoing churchwarden is elected back into office. Is this permitted and if not why not?

By the way, do the 6 years start from the date the churchwarden is admitted by the Bishop or from the date of the annual or 'special' parishioners meeting?

Posted by Michael P at Wednesday, 18 April 2012 at 8:43pm BST

Michael —

I think, perhaps, you intended to say "The parishioners meeting decides by resolution that the section mentioned above does NOT apply to the parish." If so, there is nothing in the Churchwardens Measure stating that such a resolution shall not take immediate effect (contrast CRR rule 14(1)(g)).

Accordingly, if your Annual Meeting of Parishioners passes a resolution deciding that section 3 of the 2001 Measure shall not apply in relation to your parish, it can then proceed (if the meeting so wishes) to re-elect the churchwarden who has served for six years for a seventh term of office. I.e. there is no need to wait and call an extraordinary meeting of parishioners.

Posted by David Lamming at Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 1:25pm BST

Thank you David. Yes you are correct about what I wanted to say which was that the clause which the meeting decided DOES apply is the clause which says 'provision 3 shall not apply'! In other words the meeting decides that churchwardens DO NOT have to stand down after 6 years, and they do not need to wait 2 years to stand again.

Thank you for your answer which conflicts with a possibly time expired (28 Nov 07) reply on the related 2006 CRR thread. This says that churchwardens must be eligible to stand at the commencement of the meeting. In the situation I have outlined in my previous post, the outgoing churchwarden is not eligible to stand at the beginning of the meeting this April. That is why I wondered if it would be necessary to wait until the next meeting? Not the following year's meeting as the Nov 07 reply says, but a special meeting which follows very soon after the annual meeting. Any further thoughts please?

Posted by Michael P at Sunday, 22 April 2012 at 8:43am BST

Michael —

It's a nice point - a bit of 'chicken and egg'. I think the basis of the 28 November 2007 answer is that section 4(3) of the Measure requires a candidate for election to be nominated and seconded in writing and the nomination paper must include a statement, signed by the person nominated, that he/she is willing to serve "and is not disqualified under section 2(1), (2) or (3) above," coupled with the requirement in section 4(4) that a nomination shall not be valid unless, inter alia, the nomination paper is "received by the minister of the parish before the commencement of the meeting."

However, you will note that the candidate does not have to state that he is not disqualified under section 3. Thus, his nomination can go foward at the meeting, but he will be disqualified from being "chosen for the office of churchwarden" unless the meeting first passes a resolution to the effect that section 3 shall not apply to the parish.

Your original question also asked when the 6 years start, and I think the Measure here also provides the answer. Section 6 requires a person chosen as churchwarden to be admitted to office by (usually) the archdeacon, and concludes by stating that "No person chosen for the office of churchwarden shall become churchwarden until such time as he shall have been admitted to office in accordance with the provisions of this section."

Section 3 states that a person is disqualified from being chosen as churchwarden (subject to a resolution of the AMP excluding the effect of the section) "when that person has served as a churchwarden of the same parish for six successive periods of office... " As the churchwarden's period of service did not commence until he was admitted to office, he will not have "served" a sixth period of office at the date of the AMP.

Posted by David Lamming at Sunday, 22 April 2012 at 12:54pm BST

At our APCM this morning I was a teller for the PCC election. After a recount to double-check the relevant votes, we were left with a tie for the last place on the PCC. We knew that this had to be decided by lot. What we didn't know was whether we should announce the eleven elected members and then make the draw publicly or, as we did, announce that there was a tie, put the two names in a bag and get the vice-chair (we're in interregnum) to draw one out and then announce the list of people elected - i.e. we didn't reveal which two people were involved in the tie.

Is there any rule or best practice on this? Our normal practice is just to announce who has been elected, not how many votes each one got.

Posted by Shaun at Sunday, 22 April 2012 at 2:16pm BST

Shaun —

There is no rule governing this, except that CRR rule 9(8) provides that the annual meeting "shall have power... to determine its own rules of procedure." However, transparency would suggest that voting figures ought to be announced.

Rule 11(8) perhaps gives some guidance here. Rule 11(8)(a), which you applied at your APCM, provides that "Where owing to an equality of votes an election is not decided, the decision between the persons for whom the equal numbers of votes have been cast shall be taken by lot."

Rule 11(8)(b) then provides: "When an election or any stage of an election is recounted, either on appeal or at the request of the presiding officer or of a candidate, if the original count and the recount are identical at the point when a lot must be drawn to resolve a tie, the original lot shall be used to make the determination."

The terms of your question suggest that not only the meeting but also the candidates were not made aware of the voting figures and between which candidates there was a tie. However, it is only a losing candidate who is likely to request a recount and if the provision for a candidate to be able to request a recount is to be meaningful, he or she ought to know that he/she is involved in a tie for the last place. This would indicate that voting figures should be disclosed.

Finally, as to when the lots should be drawn, rule 11(9) provides that "The result of the election by an annual meeting shall be announced as soon as practicable." The "result of the election," if it is to be the result, must come after the drawing of lots. If, therefore, you don't announce the voting figures, it would seem that all you need to so is to announce the names of the 12 people elected, without even revealing that there was a tie for the 12th place. In my view, however, the figures for each candidate ought to be revealed, including for those candidates who were not elected. This would certainly be known if the voting had been conducted by a show of hands in accordance with rule 11(7)(a).

Posted by David Lamming at Sunday, 22 April 2012 at 8:33pm BST

I am an ERO. I am about to present the latest Roll to the APCM this week. A retired priest has applied to be added to the roll ( his wife is on already). Is he eligible or is he barred by virtue of being ordained, albeit retired?

Posted by Roger Turner at Monday, 23 April 2012 at 12:40pm BST

Roger —

The electoral roll is for laity only. See CRR rule 1(1): "There shall be a church electoral roll in every parish, on which the names of lay persons shall be entered as hereinafter provided."

Posted by David Lamming at Monday, 23 April 2012 at 10:53pm BST

The very first sentence of the Church Representation Rules proper provides the answer:

1(1). There shall be a church electoral roll (in these rules referred to as “the roll”) in every parish, on which the names of lay persons shall be entered as hereinafter provided.

The roll is only for lay people. 1(9)(b) provides for the removal of names upon ordination.

Posted by Richard Huss at Tuesday, 24 April 2012 at 9:57am BST

Thank you David for your helpful reply of 22 April. The Annual meetings have now taken place and everything is 'sorted' (until the next hard question). Very useful website - many thanks.

Posted by Michael P at Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 10:07am BST

I am a clerk in holy orders but I resigned from my living 12 years ago. I am not licensed nor do I have PTO. Is it possible for me to be a Church Warden?

Posted by David at Saturday, 28 April 2012 at 12:22am BST

David

You have to be on the electoral roll to be a churchwarden, and that requires you to be a lay person. To be treated as a lay person you would have to relinquish your orders.

Posted by Peter Owen at Saturday, 28 April 2012 at 10:32am BST

Re answer to question by: David Lamming on Sunday, 22 April 2012 at 12:54pm BST re the Churchwarden 6 year rule which came in in 2008, I am confused. Our PCC chose at a meeting in 2008 to elect churchwardens annually. We have a churchwarden who to date has served more than 6 consecutive years in office since before 2008; prior to 2008 this CW was elected every 3 years and since 2008 annually. Therefore the CW has done in excess of 6 years both before & after 2008 rule came in. When did this CW 6 years start. As I read it they have served more than 6 years consecutively including the years prior to 2008. Or was the slate wiped clean and the 6 years start from 2008 and therefore does not end till 2014?

Posted by chris pile at Monday, 7 May 2012 at 9:37am BST

Chris —

In answer to your question:

1. Churchwardens are not chosen by the PCC but by a joint meeting of (a) those whose names are on the church electoral roll of the parish, and (b) the residents in the parish whose names are on the local government register of electors by reason of such residence. (This meeting, correctly now called the 'annual meeting of parishioners', is commonly called the vestry meeting.) If the PCC alone have been electing the churchwardens, this is irregular and unlawful.

2. Churchwardens have always been elected annually. Before the changes made by the 2001 Measure, section 2(1) of the Churchwardens (Appointment and Resignation) Measure 1964 provided: "The churchwardens of a parish shall be chosen annually not later than the 30th April in each year." Section 4(1) of the Churchwardens Measure 2001 is the same. Thus, if, prior to 2008, your churchwardens were elected for a 3-year term, this was unlawful.

3. The rule disqualifying a churchwarden from serving for more than 6 consecutive periods of office (i.e. 6 years) was introduced by section 3 of the 2001 Measure, but is not retrospective. I.e.it is only service after the Measure came into force on 1 January 2002 that counts in calculating the 6 years.

4. It appears, therefore, that by 2008 your churchwarden had served 6 consecutive periods of office since 1 January 2002. Accordingly, unless the meeting of parishioners (not the PCC or the APCM) passed a resolution deciding that section 3 should not apply in the parish, he was disqualified from being re-elected in 2008 and his election then should have been declared void, with the consequence that the bishop should have directed the making of a fresh choice, pursuant to his power under section 10(1)(d). The (former) churchwarden would then have been eligible for election again in 2010, i.e. after a two-years break: see section 3. However, since he has purportedly been elected continuously since 2002, my view would be that his current election is invalid. My advice would be to refer the matter to your diocesan bishop (before the churchwardens are admitted to office this year), explaining what has happened. He should then direct the holding of an extraordinary meeting of parishioners, which meeting could (if they so wished) decide to pass a resolution to the effect that section 3 should not apply in the parish.

I hope this helps.

Posted by David Lamming at Monday, 7 May 2012 at 9:30pm BST

Thank you David for your detailed response. Point 1 we have always complied with. Point 2 The CWs were elected annually prior to 2008. Point 3 that is also my understanding. point 4. At the meeting of the parishioners this year the motion that that section 3 should not apply in the parish was carried. Thanks again.

Posted by Chris Pile at Tuesday, 8 May 2012 at 2:03pm BST

Our church has had to become a registered charity as its Annual Income is over £100,000. Can a paid employee be an elected member of the PCC or only become a PCC member as an invited person or a co-opted member if on the electoral roll?

Thanks

Richard

Posted by Richard at Tuesday, 8 May 2012 at 5:15pm BST

Who should approve the APCM and Annual Parishioners Meeting (APM) minutes please? There area at least 2 ideas on this.
Idea 1. The minutes are corrected / approved by the next annual meetings a year later, by a show of hands.
Idea 2. The minutes are corrected / approved by the PCC at a meeting in, say, May or June of the same year as the annual meetings.
Idea 2 seems to have the advantage that the minutes can be approved while the proceedings are still fresh in the minds of those who attended, and the minutes can than be published.
Idea 2 has the potential drawback that those at next year's meetings, who by and large tend to be the same people each year, don't get a say in approving the minutes, unless they happen to be on the PCC.

Also, does anyone put their APCM and APM minutes on the web, or are there reasons against this?

Posted by Michael P at Wednesday, 9 May 2012 at 2:04pm BST

Michael —

The answer to your main question is quite clear: it is for the Annual Meeting of Parishioners (AMP) (re the election of churchwardens) and the APCM, not the PCC, to approve the Minutes of the previous year's meetings (with any suggested amendments that may be agreed.)

So far as publishing the minutes is concerned, I suggest that this is a matter to be considered and decided on by the AMP/APCM. However, if the church has a website, I cannot see any objection to announcing the result of the elections (i.e. who has been elected by the AMP to be the churchwardens or, by the APCM, to represent the laity on the deanery synod or the PCC) or a summary of matters discussed, provided it is made clear that this is not the formal minutes (and that no libellous comments are reported).

Posted by David Lamming at Friday, 18 May 2012 at 1:28am BST

Please can you tell me if all resolutions at PCC meetings have to have a proposer and seconder? I didn't think this was the case, but can't find it in writing. If it's not always necessary, are there some occasions when it is? Many thanks.

Posted by Nicola Carnall at Friday, 18 May 2012 at 9:26am BST

Thank you David, for your replies of 18th May.

Posted by Michael P at Monday, 21 May 2012 at 3:46pm BST

Resolutions at PCC meetings do not require a proposer and seconder. The Church Representation Rules - which incidentally are now available online at http://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/structure/churchlawlegis/church-representation-rules/church-representation-rules-online.aspx - only require that the business of the council shall be decided by a majority of the members present and voting thereon. No doubt many PCCs, like the one I sit on, do have proposers and seconders for many resolutions. In our case for things like major items of expenditure, approval of the annual report and financial statements, and faculties but a "failure" to have a proposer and seconder does not invalidate anything.

Posted by David Willmets at Saturday, 9 June 2012 at 9:56am BST

Dear Peter,

I'm the Director of Music at two parish churches within a united benefice and, having been an elected member of the PCC at one of the churches for several years, I was recently elected (at an APCM) to the PCC of the other church.

I was surprised to be told by my vicar yesterday that my election to the second PCC was invalid because you can't serve on two PCCs at the same time - so I'd have to resign from one of them. This doesn't seem right - an earlier comment posted by you on 21 April 2007 is relevant, but is it still applicable? Thank you.

Could you reply before Wednesday please, as I have to attend the next PCC at 7pm Weds evening.

Posted by Paul Wilkins at Monday, 25 June 2012 at 5:46pm BST

Paul

I think that your vicar is wrong.

My interpretation of rule 1(4) is that the restriction to one PCC only applies to what we might call ex officio membership. So, for example, if you were elected to your diocesan synod you would become a member of your PCC, and in your case you would have to choose which one. Similarly you can only be elected to the deanery synod by one of the two parishes.

But I see nothing to prevent you being elected as a "representative of the laity" by each parish where you are on the electoral roll.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 25 June 2012 at 8:53pm BST

We have a situation on the PCC where (there being exactly 12 elected members) we have co-opted 2 more - the maximum I believe.
1. There are 107 on electoral roll. Can you confirm that we could have another 3 next time to make 15?
2. In these circumstances may we co-opt a 3rd person?
I am Secretary and I ought to know.

Posted by Rachel Barlow at Tuesday, 26 June 2012 at 3:50pm BST

By default, if your electoral roll is between 101 and 200 inclusive you have 12 elected PCC members. You can change this to 15 by passing a resolution at an annual meeting, but the change does not come into effect until the following annual meeting.

If you have 15 elected members then you can co-opt up to three members.

Posted by Peter Owen at Tuesday, 26 June 2012 at 5:42pm BST

Thanks, Peter.
I guess we will just have to stick to 2 co-opted. Apart from anything else, by next APCM she'll be licensed as a Reader and so come onto PCC ex officio. Until then she can be a non-voting observer; I shall have to break it to her gently!

No need to reply

Posted by Rachel Barlow at Tuesday, 26 June 2012 at 6:33pm BST

Rachel, just in case you aren't aware, readers aren't necessarily ex officio members of the PCC. There are 3 options, and the APCM decides which to apply to your parish

a) No reader is ex officio, but any can stand for election like anyone else,
b) All readers are ex officio
c) (Only applicable if you have more than one reader) A set number of the readers are ex officio members, selected by the readers themselves. The others can stand for election like anyone else.

As far as I know this decision takes effect as soon as it's made and lasts until an APCM chooses to change it.

Posted by Shaun at Wednesday, 27 June 2012 at 10:42pm BST

We have a dilemma about co-options and the requirement (passed at an APCM) to have a year off after 3 years as an elected PCC member. One view is that the requirement to have a year off would apply to a co-opted member. Thus if you want to keep someone on the PCC (eg Treasurer) the only option is to co-opt each year. The other view is that after a year co-opted, the person could again stand for PCC. This latter view is supported, I believe, by section 17 of CRR which seems to confine the 3 year limitation to those on the Council "by virtue of rule 14(1)(g)", which therefore excludes a co-opted person. Right?

Posted by John at Tuesday, 10 July 2012 at 11:48am BST

John - as you say the rule about having a year off after 3 years only applies to elected representatives of the laity. You can co-opt a person every year for as long as you like.

Alternatively your treasurer could stand for election to the deanery synod, where there are no limits on continuous service.

Posted by Peter Owen at Tuesday, 10 July 2012 at 8:28pm BST

Thanks Peter. Further though - can the treasurer (or whoever), once co-opted, ever stand for election to PCC or does the year off rule preclude that?
John

Posted by John at Wednesday, 11 July 2012 at 9:35am BST

Are people on the Electoral Roll entitled to attend PCC meetings as observers? Clearly the PCC may decided to exclude non-members when confidential matters are discussed.

Posted by Charles Van Ingen at Wednesday, 11 July 2012 at 1:46pm BST

John

The year off rule only applies to being an elected representative of the laity. So if somebody is co-opted they can stand for election to the PCC at the next annual meeting.

Charles

There is no right for members of the electoral roll to attend PCC meetings. The PCC could, if it wished, admit them (and other members of the public).

Posted by Peter Owen at Wednesday, 11 July 2012 at 4:07pm BST

Am I correct in thinking that there is no provision in the rules for a member of a synod or PCC to send a proxy to a meeting they can't attend, to vote on their behalf? My understanding is that with the meeting's permission someone could attend as a proxy with the right to hear the debates and if permitted speak in them.

Posted by Shaun at Wednesday, 11 July 2012 at 6:32pm BST

Shaun - that's right; there is no provision for members to send a proxy. But as you suggest the meeting could invite a non-member to attend and speak (but not to vote).

Posted by Peter Owen at Wednesday, 11 July 2012 at 10:35pm BST

Can a PCC paid employee become an elected member of the PCC?

Posted by Richard at Thursday, 12 July 2012 at 12:16am BST

Do 16 and 17 year olds have to been on the Electoral Roll 6 months before election to the PCC? We have a 17 year old who joined the electoral roll in March 2012 and was elected a member of the PCC at the APCM in April. Is he a bone fide member of PCC from APCM in Aprl 2012?

Thanks

Posted by Richard at Monday, 27 August 2012 at 9:52am BST

Richard

The six-month rule only applies to those who are 18 or over at the time of election. So your 17 year old was qualified to be elected.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 27 August 2012 at 10:29pm BST

I recall seeing that (between APCMs) any amendments to the Electoral Roll had to be reported to the next PCC meeting. But looking at the online version of the rules I can no longer see this rule - has it been repealed?
Thanks

Posted by Abigail Shepherd at Tuesday, 6 November 2012 at 2:03pm GMT

Abigail - It's still there in rule 1(8).

Posted by Peter Owen at Tuesday, 6 November 2012 at 5:11pm GMT

Thanks for that - had a feeling I might be being blind! Sometimes cannot see for looking.

Posted by Abigail Shepherd at Wednesday, 7 November 2012 at 4:00pm GMT

As a new Roll needs to e prepared in 2013 we would like to take the opportunity to update our own contact list at the same time as preparing the new Roll. Are we allowed to collect any additional information on the Electoral Roll form if it is clear that this is additional information, for another purpose, if that purpose is clearly stated?

Posted by Sarah at Tuesday, 20 November 2012 at 4:31pm GMT

I was "received into full membership" in the Methodist church, but for the last 20 years have worshipped regularly and am on the electoral roll at my Parish church. The Methodists, understandably, have me recorded as "ceased to meet", so I don't think I can be regarded as "in good standing" with them. Does that mean I am not strictly eligible to receive communion under Canon B15A1 (not episcopally confirmed so not eligible under a, not in good standing with the Methodists so not under b) and therefore not an "actual communicant" so am not eligible for the PCC under 10(1)? Or can we stretch "good standing" sufficiently? The correct course would be seem to be to be episcopally confirmed, but I have resisted that because it seems to invalidate my previous membership in the Methodists.

Posted by John at Sunday, 2 December 2012 at 6:40pm GMT

John,

My wife is in a similar situation to your own (only with respect to the Church of Scotland rather than the Methodist church). The canon of course doesn't define what it means by being a member "in good standing". Not sure I can add a whole lot, really.

Dare I ask whether your incumbent has followed clause 2 of the canon? Neither our present nor our previous incumbent has in respect of my wife - nor has clause 3 ("phone a friend") been invoked.

(I suppose, having grown up in the Church of Ireland, I get in under clause 1(a) as having been "otherwise episcopally confirmed with the laying on of hands".)

Best wishes,

Richard

Posted by Richard at Monday, 17 December 2012 at 9:47am GMT

Richard

Thanks. My previous Incumbent, under whose watch the situation came about, did suggest I might be confirmed in the CoE, though with no reference to Canon B15. When I declined, he made no further comment and continued to welcome me to communion for another ten years or so. My present Incumbent probably doesn't know the situation. He wants me to join the PCC, which I will decline to do for other reasons, but it was this that prompted me to look up the rules on membership.

Posted by John at Tuesday, 18 December 2012 at 1:56pm GMT

Please can you tell me if there is a limit to how many Electoral Rolls you can be a member of? Someone who is a regular attender at our parish church is also a regular attender at another parish church. They are a Lay person, baptised and confirmed in the Anglican church, but do not live in the parish of either churches. Thanks

Posted by Richard at Monday, 25 February 2013 at 7:03pm GMT

Richard

There's no limit, provided he or she is qualified, in particular by being a regular worshipper if not a resident. But he or she must choose one of the parishes for the purposes of synod membership.

The person you mention could also join the electoral roll of the parish in which he/she resides without ever worshipping there,

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 25 February 2013 at 11:09pm GMT

Been on the PCC a year (this time around). I'm concerned to promote transparency (except in clear cases of confidentiality) and wider conversatons with the whole church community.
I see the note re notices relating to meetings (app II para 4(a)) and access to approved minutes of PCC meetings (12f). Three questions remain please: 1. should notice of meeting include Agenda and additional papers to be circulated with it?
2. May members discuss or consult with non members, details of items discussed following (or for that matter before) the meeting. We are currently 'banned' from discussing matters as the whole proceedings are considered by some to be confidential.
3. What do we use as a definition of 'confidential'? I am used to a publice service definition that relates to privacy of employees, for example, or protection of commercially sensitive information.
Thank you.
Robert Cook

Posted by Robert Cook at Sunday, 10 March 2013 at 1:35pm GMT

I posted a question a few days ago. How do I know if anyone has read it?

ED NOTE: Your question fell into the spam trap, I have now rescued it, and no doubt it will be answered soon.

Posted by Robert Cook at Friday, 15 March 2013 at 8:50am GMT

On what grounds can a PCC postpone the date of the APCM until after 30 April?

Posted by Peter Syddall at Thursday, 21 March 2013 at 3:48pm GMT

Our PCC has a resolution document dated and signed by a previous vicar in 2008, exempting us from the 6 year rule for churchwardens. However it was not minuted by the Secretary. Is it valid?

Posted by B Whitbread at Monday, 25 March 2013 at 12:06pm GMT

The resolution on the 6 year rule for wardens ought to be in the minutes of the Meeting of Parishioners, rather than the PCC minutes. If it's not there, one option would be to discuss it again at this year's Meeting of Parishioners, making sure it goes on the agenda *before* the election of wardens.


Peter, I can see no option for the PCC to postpone the APCM date, but the APCM itself can decide to adjourn its proceedings (e.g. if the annual report and accounts are not ready).

Posted by Richard Huss at Tuesday, 26 March 2013 at 11:58am GMT

Is there a minimum number required to form a PCC. One of our churches in our Benfice does not have a church warden, the treasurer is appointed and it is likely at the next APCM that no-one will volunteer to be elected to the PCC.

if this is the case what can/should happen?

Posted by Robert at Saturday, 30 March 2013 at 10:35am GMT

Thank you Richard. It appears that the powers that be did not post the required notice of the revision of the Electoral Roll in time. This has resulted in the process having to be re-started with the result that any completed forms have now been declared null and void and new forms completed. The APCM originally called on 23 April has been postponed to 21 May. We are told that there has been "Episcopal Dispensation", whatever that means, to allow this to happen. At what stage does the old Roll cease and the new Roll commence. Is there a period during which there is no valid electoral roll and therefore no valid PCC. A PCC meeting has been called for 23 April, 3 days after the Electoral Roll closes and the forming of the new roll commences. Will this be a valid meeting.

Posted by Peter Syddall at Wednesday, 3 April 2013 at 11:19pm BST

Peter, sounds like the Bishop has exercised his powers under Rule 53(1) - see http://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/structure/churchlawlegis/church-representation-rules/part-vii.aspx#ba52

Posted by Richard at Friday, 5 April 2013 at 9:39pm BST

Thank you Richard. Any thoughts on the validity of a PCC meeting in the interim period.

Posted by Peter Syddall at Saturday, 6 April 2013 at 12:17am BST

The new roll comes into force when published and the old roll simultaneously ceases to have effect, rule 2(7) - http://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/structure/churchlawlegis/church-representation-rules/part-i.aspx#ba1.

PCC lay representatives serve until the conclusion of the appropriate APCM (generally 3 years later) - rule 16, http://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/structure/churchlawlegis/church-representation-rules/part-ii.aspx#ba16, so I can't see an issue unless I'm missing something? (In the event that a PCC member fails to re-enrol, their membership of the PCC terminates on the date the new roll comes into force, rule 14(3).)

Posted by Richard at Saturday, 6 April 2013 at 8:17am BST

Please can you tell me whether Retired Free Church Ministers or Retired Baptist Ministers can go on the Anglican Church Electoral Roll? I understand that Ordained Anglican ministers whether retired or not are not able to go on the Anglican Church Electoral Roll, but is the same true for clergy from other denominations who have joined our Anglican church on retirement?

Also what happens if a PCC member forgets to complete a new Electoral Roll form until the day after the Annual Church meeting? When could they be re-elected on to the PCC, if there is still a vacancy on the PCC to fill?

Many Thanks

Posted by Richard at Sunday, 7 April 2013 at 3:29pm BST

As PCC Secretary at the time, I took the minutes of our APCM on 30th April 2012. As our vicar did not produce a written report to the APCM I made careful notes of what she said. I typed up the minutes soon afterwards and on 6th May 2012 I emailed my draft minutes to the other members of the PCC and to our vicar, asking them to let me know of any amendments or additions. Nobody had any comments or suggested any alterations. Our vicar now claims that I omitted about 50% of what she said at the 2012 APCM and wants my minutes to be amended to reflect what she claims she said before they are presented to our APCM on 22nd April. The supposed ommission is highly significant for our PCC and parish. Is anyone entitled to make changes to APCM minutes 11 months after they have been circulated?

Posted by Anne at Tuesday, 16 April 2013 at 5:08pm BST

Anne —
Re your post yesterday, the first point to note is that as PCC secretary, unless the APCM appointed someone else as clerk of the meeting, it was your responsibility to act as clerk of the annual meeting and to "record the minutes thereof.": see Church Representation Rules, rule 9(9).
Having quite sensibly circulated draft minutes to PCC members shortly after the 2012 APCM, I can understand your annoyance that only now is your vicar asking you to amend them. However, ultimately it is not for the PCC to approve the minutes, but for the 2013 APCM, and anyone at that meeting could propose an amendment, which would then need to be voted on before a motion to approve the 2012 minutes.
From your reference to "supposed" omissions I take it that you do not agree that what the vicar wants you to insert in the minutes was in fact part of her report a year ago. As it is for the APCM to approve the minutes (with or without amendments) and as you gave PCC members an opportunity to comment on your draft 11 months ago, my suggestion would be (i) to inform your vicar that you asked for any suggested amendments 11 months ago, but that none was forthcoming, nor was it suggested that your minutes were inaccurate or incomplete; (ii) to advise her that in the those circumstances you do not intend to change your minutes, but that if she wishes to propose any amendment to provide a draft (as a separate document which, if agreed by the APCM, could be annexed to the minutes) for circulation at the APCM. Those attending the 2013 APCM (or, strictly, those who were present in 2012) can then decide (i) whether the matters the vicar wants added were indeed part of her report to the 2012 APCM and (ii) if so, whether they are significant enough to justify an amendment to your minutes. You might also like to suggest to your vicar that she provides you with a written copy of her report for the 2013 and future annual meetings so that the same issue cannot arise again.

Posted by David Lamming at Wednesday, 17 April 2013 at 4:51pm BST

The quorum for a PCC meeting is 1/3 of the members. If the APCM has fewer candidates than there are places on the PCC, e.g. 10 nominations for 12 places, is the quorum calculated on the actual or potential membership of the PCC?
e.g. for a filled membership of Vicar, 2 x warden 2 x deanery synod, 10 (out of 12) elected members is the quorum 1/3 of (1+2+2+10) = 5, or 1/3 of (1+2+2+12) = 5.66, rounded to 6?

I assume if a person holds two posts, e.g. warden and deanery synod, they only count as 1 for the calculation.

Also *if* I read the CRR right co-opted members wouldn't count towards the calculation of what the quorum figure is, but do they count towards whether it a meeting is quorate? I.e. in the case above, would 5 members plus a co-opted member present mean the PCC was quorate?

Posted by Shaun at Thursday, 18 April 2013 at 2:25pm BST

Thank you, David Lamming, for your helpful advice with regard to our priest's belated change to last year's APCM minutes. As you suggested, it was agreed at our APCM that her amendment be annexed to my original minutes.

Posted by Anne at Tuesday, 23 April 2013 at 1:38pm BST

Another point of debate that I had with our priest in relation to our difference of opinion regarding my minutes of the 2012 APCM was that she said I should have sent my draft minutes to her for approval before circulating them to the PCC, not simultaneously. I see that a similar question was asked by Sally on 19th March 2012: "Can anyone tell me whether typed up minutes need to be passed to the Chair first for approval before sending out to the remaining PCC members?" but I could not see an answer to that question.

Posted by Anne Wickham at Wednesday, 24 April 2013 at 12:45pm BST

We held our Annual Meetings this morning after a service with 16 in the congregation - our usual attendance. (Two regulars were missing, but there were two occasional worshippers.)

At last year's meeting, only one person was prepared to stand for churchwarden, and she made it quite clear that she would not serve a further term.

No-one is prepared to stand as churchwarden this year; everyone has excellent reasons for NOT standing -- age and infirmity; work commitments; will be leaving the area in a few months' time; now in training for SSM; already carrying out most of the parish admin.

Obviously we have to talk to Archdeacon and Bishop . . .

Has anyone any advice to offer? We cannot be the first parish to be in this position.

Posted by John Roch at Sunday, 28 April 2013 at 4:14pm BST

Have there been any more postings since 28th April? I don't seem to be able to access any updates since that date.

Posted by Anne at Thursday, 9 May 2013 at 9:35pm BST

At our AGM on Sunday there was only one candidate for the position of churchwarden; we are allowed two. Instead of putting the proposal to a vote the chaplain declared that no vote was required as the number of candidates was not superior to the number of places. The reasons he gave were that there was 'no trigger and no need' (candidates < places) and that this was in accord with the practices of the Church of England. Despite queries about this proceedure he announced the appointment of the candidate. Exactly the same process was followed for the appointment of council members. Are these appointments valid?

Posted by Deigan Morris at Tuesday, 11 June 2013 at 9:50am BST

The short answer is yes - references to the rules are below.
However as you referred to a chaplain rather than vicar / rector etc, and you've only just had your 'AGM' when the standard rule is that the Annual Parochial Church Meeting has to happen by the end of April, I wonder if you're in some special circumstance where the normal rules don't apply.

For the election of council members, Church Representation Rules section 11 point 3 "If the number of candidates nominated is not greater than the number of seats to be filled, the candidates nominated shall forthwith be declared elected"

and the rules for electing churchwardens say
"51. Subject to paragraphs 53-57 below, the procedure for conducting, announcing and notifying the election of the churchwardens is the same as for elections under rule 11 of the Church Representation Rules (dealing with elections at the annual parochial church meeting), except that the minister does not have a vote)(CRR r.13(1)):-

(a) if the number of candidates is equal to or less than the number of places to be filled, all the candidates are immediately declared elected;"

Posted by Shaun at Sunday, 16 June 2013 at 11:37pm BST

Shaun

I agree with what you say about elections to the PCC. But where do you find what you call the rules for electing churchwardens? You quote rule 51, but this rule is about constraints in elections.

There is something in the CRR about electing churchwardens. It is rule 13 and simply says "Elections of churchwardens shall be conducted at a meeting of parishioners, in accordance with the provisions of sections 4 and 5 of the Churchwardens Measure 2001".

On a more general point it is not possible for the CRR (which are secondary legislation) to add to or change the provisions of a Measure (which is primary legislation) without an explicit provision in the Measure to allow this. There used to be a second part to rule 13 which purported to do this, but it had to be repealed. I think that it said more or less what say is a quote from rule 51.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 17 June 2013 at 11:25am BST

Peter,
I was pretty sure that was the general position for churchwardens, but didn't know where the rules were so googled "churchwarden election church of england" and found this document
www.churchofengland.org/media/51419/cwguide.rtf

Posted by shaun at Monday, 17 June 2013 at 6:18pm BST

Shaun

I have done some more investigation, and the current wording of rule 13 came into effect on 1 January 2010. You can see this in the Statutory Instrument that gave effect to the decision made by General Synod in 2009 here:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/2129/made

The document that you found was written when the Churchwardens Measure came into effect in 2001 and clearly has not been updated to reflect changes made several years later.

However, in the absence of any provision in the Measure about what to do when the number of candidates is equal to or less than the number of churchwardens to be elected, the normal procedure would be to look at the rules for elections in similar circumstances. Since in elections to PCCs, parliament and local councils candidates are declared elected unopposed in these circumstances, it would be perverse to do anything different in the election of churchwardens.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 17 June 2013 at 11:43pm BST

I was just wondering who is able to attend pcc meetings? Is it only members of the PCC or can anyone on the electoral roll attend to observe, but not allowed to speak? When we attended an episcopal church in the USA Vestry (our equivalent of pcc) was open to all church members - i.e. non-vestry members could attend but only to observe. So I have always wondered if the CofE has the same rule here.

Posted by Abigail Shepherd at Wednesday, 2 October 2013 at 1:44pm BST

Hi there
Are there rules about qualifications as Parish Representatives from a PCC in a time of vacancy? For instance, can lay readers be parish reps?...
Thanks in advance

Posted by Neil at Sunday, 13 October 2013 at 6:59pm BST

Neil -

I presume you are referring to the representatives of the PCC to act in connection with the selection of a new incumbent.

The rules are contained in section 11 of the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986. Section 11(1)(b) requires the PCC to appoint (at a meeting which is usually referred to as "the section 11 meeting") "two lay members of the council to act as representatives of the council in connection with the selection of an incumbent."

Certain PCC members are disqualified for appointment: (i) the spouse or civil partner of the outgoing incumbent, (ii) the registered patron, and (iii) any deaconess of lay worker licensed to the parish. A lay reader (strictly, just 'reader') is not the same as a lay worker [cf Canon E4 (readers) and Canon E7 (lay workers]. Thus, if a reader is a member of the PCC he or she is eligible for appointment as one of the two PCC representatives under section 11.

Note that in a multi-parish benefice the section 11 meeting must be a joint meeting of the PCCs of the parishes comprised in the benefice and instead of each PCC appointing two representatives, the joint meeting is to appoint "such number of persons, but not less than four, as will enable each of those councils to have at least one representative, to act as representatives of those councils in connection with the selection of an incumbent." (see para 4 of Schedule 2 to the 1986 Measure.)

Posted by David Lamming at Tuesday, 15 October 2013 at 11:29am BST

Abigail —

Re your post of 2 October, Appendix II to the Church Representation Rules (CRR), which contains various provisions regarding the conduct of PCC meetings, is silent as to whether persons other than council members may attend council meetings. It is, therefore, for the PCC to decide whether other people, such as those on the church electoral roll, may attend as observers. However, in my experience, this is unusual and there may be business which is confidential or which it would be inappropriate (because, for example, it is pastorally sensitive) for PCC members to discuss with non-members present.

Note, though:
(i) save for emergency meetings, para 4(a) of Appendix II requires a notice of any intended PCC meeting to be posted on or near the principal church door at least 10 clear days before the meeting, thus enabling church members to know that a meeting is being held and, if they have a matter they are concerned should be discussed at the meeting, to write to the chairman or secretary accordingly.
(ii) Those on the electoral roll are entitled to see the approved minutes of PCC meetings held after the 1995 APCM, "except any minutes deemed by the Council to be confidential". [CRR Appendix II para 12(f)]

Posted by David Lamming at Saturday, 19 October 2013 at 6:56pm BST

Please can you tell me whether someone who is an elected Lay Diocesan Synod member and on the electoral role of 2 parishes in the same Deanery can attend as ex-officio of both PCCs or do they have to elect only one PCC and stay with that one only?

Posted by Richard at Wednesday, 23 October 2013 at 10:40pm BST

Richard —

The answer to your query is provided by CRR rule 1(4): "... but a person whose name is entered on the roll of each of two or more parishes must choose one of those parishes for the purpose of the provisions of these rules that prescribe the qualifications... for membership of a parochial church council under rule 14(1)(f)..." [Rule 14(1)(f) is the rule that makes a lay member of a diocesan synods an ex-officio member of the PCC of the parish where his or her name is on the electoral roll, but this is expressly "subject to the provisions of rule 1(4)".]

In my view, the terms of rule 1(4) would indicate that an election (choice) to be an ex-officio member of the PCC of parish 'A' rather than parish 'B' would enure at least for the duration of that person's 3-year term of office as an elected member of the diocesan synod.

The short answer to your question, therefore, is that the person must elect, and that election will stand for that triennium of the diocesan synod.

There appears to be nothing in the CRR, however, that would prevent such a person from being elected to the PCC of parish 'B' by the APCM of that parish as an 'ordinary' member under rule 14(1)(g), or from being co-opted to that PCC under rule 14(1)(h).

Posted by David Lamming at Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 1:02am BST

Please can you tell me if a Reader who is not a PCC member can attend a Deanery Synod meeting and vote in any motions brought before the Deanery Synod, or do they need to be an elected member? Many Thanks.

Posted by Richard at Sunday, 27 October 2013 at 9:21pm GMT

Richard:

As a lay person, a reader is only entitled to attend and vote at a deanery synod meeting if he or she:
(i) is one of the parochial representatives of the laity elected to the deanery synod by the APCM, or
(ii) is an ex-officio member of the deanery synod by virtue of being a lay member of the General Synod or the diocesan synod, or
(iii) has been co-opted to the house of laity of the deanery synod by the members of that house.
[See CRR rule 24(6)(a),(b) and (7)]

The APCM may decided that a reader, licensed to the parish or to an area including the parish and whose name is on the church electoral roll, is to be an [ex-officio] member of the PCC [see CRR rule 14(1)(e)] but that does not make the person a member of, or entitled to attend, the deanery synod.

Posted by David Lamming at Tuesday, 29 October 2013 at 5:22pm GMT

Do we as the members of the PCC have to approve the licensing of a priest for our parish? Or can the Bishop license a priest of another parish for our parish without our knowledge or approval?

Posted by Michael Winckworth at Wednesday, 13 November 2013 at 9:56pm GMT

If the appointment is of a "priest in charge" rather than of a "vicar" because the right of the patron to make a presentation to the benefice is suspended, then it is, technically, the bishop's right to appoint someone, and he doesn't have to consult with anyone. Usually, however, if the appointment is of someone who will essentially be doing the same job as a vicar then bishops do consult, often going through the same process they would with the appointment of a vicar - parish profile, interview panel from the PCC, consultation with the patron etc.

If for some reason the post needs to be temporarily covered by someone else, perhaps while decisions are being made about the parish, then I can see the possibility that the bishop might appoint a neighbouring priest to take care of the parish while that decision is being made. Is that the situation here?
If the appointment is of a curate or assistant priest of some sort then again it would legally be a matter for the bishop, who would consult with the vicar or priest in charge. Again, though, a wise bishop and vicar would probably at least keep the PCC in the picture.

Posted by Anne2 at Thursday, 14 November 2013 at 8:13am GMT

We only have 1churchwarden who has given notice that she will not stand again at the APCM as she is leaving the area. What happens if no one stands for election?

Posted by Roger at Saturday, 11 January 2014 at 5:27pm GMT

We have a situation where a non-Anglican church wishes to effect a "hostile" takeover of an Anglican PCC. They are a huge church. they mean to attend worship en masse at the church for 6 months, join the electoral roll, then ultimately replace PCC and churchwardens with their own people. Then they will vote for anything and everything which allows their original (non anglican) church to use the building as they choose, ousting the anglicans and squeezing the anglican worship to bare legal minimum. Can they do this?

Posted by Mark at Monday, 3 February 2014 at 11:24pm GMT

Sounds like a matter to raise with your archdeacon as soon as you can.

Posted by Shaun Clarkson at Friday, 7 February 2014 at 2:33pm GMT

At my church's AGM this year, I am planning to move a general resolution for the PCC to sign a letter to the bishop requesting for the removal of our vicar because he has caused disruption and driven long term members and office holders away from our church. What would be the correct procedure to effect this?

Posted by Harvey Hutchings at Sunday, 9 February 2014 at 3:22pm GMT

I resigned as church warden, but our Rector never made this public, either to the congregation or the PCC. As such, it has not been an option for people to consider whether they want to stand for office.
It turns out our Rector has approached someone, who at the time was not on the electoral roll, to stand. This person was then admitted to the electoral roll on the same day as the application to become church warden was submitted. I am very uncomfortable with this. Is there any guidance as to how a Rector should handle the resignation of a church warden and make this public?

Posted by Sandra Pearce at Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 11:32am GMT

According to the Church Representation Rules 2011 (Section 49 - p 59-60) resignations should be made in writing to the Secretary of the PCC, not to the Rector. I suggest you write to the Secretary of the PCC a formal letter of resignation, saying you have realised that this is the correct procedure for resignation. Then it cannot be kept secret.
Technically, however,the notices advertising the APCM and meeting of parishioners should have the information that there are x numbers of PCC /Deanery Synod/Churchwardens to be elected (Churchwardens are elected every year, even if the understanding is that they serve three years). Anyone then has a right to stand for these posts. It is quite in order for the Rector to invite someone to stand, and so long as they are in agreement and are entitled to do so (on the electoral roll) there can be no objection to this.

I can see why you are concerned, but the only thing you can do here is to make sure your resignation (which doesn't take effect until the PCC Secretary receives your letter) is done in the proper way. That way, whatever you fear is being done in a secret or underhand way is brought into the light where it should be.

Posted by Anne2 at Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 1:39pm GMT

The Church Representation Rules do not apply to the resignation of churchwardens. This is governed by section 7 of the Churchwardens Measure 2001.

7 Resignation

(1) A person may resign the office of churchwarden in accordance with the following provisions of this section, but not otherwise.
(2) Written notice of intention to resign shall be served on the bishop by post.
(3) The resignation shall have effect and the office shall be vacated—
(a) at the end of the period of two months following service of the notice on the bishop; or
(b) on such earlier date as may be determined by the bishop after consultation with the minister and any other churchwarden of the parish.

So you need to write to your bishop.

Posted by Peter Owen at Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 3:59pm GMT

Thanks for your replies, but apologies, I was not using the correct terminology. It's not that I've resigned, but I have chosen not to stand for re-election once my current term has ended. I intend to complete the full year of service. Do I still have to write to the PCC secretary?

Posted by Sandra Pearce at Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 4:57pm GMT

Peter Owen is of course right - apologies. Churchwarden resignations go to the Bishop - either way, they don't go to the vicar. If, however, you are not actually resigning but just coming to the end of your term, then there is no reason at all why your Rector should have told other people - it is simply part of the normal process. My question would not be why he/she hasn't told anyone, but why you haven't - it doesn't need to be a secret that you aren't standing for election again.
The election of a new churchwarden is an open process, signaled by public notices, and candidates have to be nominated and seconded in writing before the meeting of parishioners starts. What often happens, however, is that a parish priest will often talk to likely candidates beforehand and ask people to stand - often it is quite hard to persuade people to stand at all. It may be that the general congregation don't feel they can put themselves forward unless the vicar has asked them to, but the congregation can help by identifying likely people and asking them to stand. If you were to do this, then people would be aware that you weren't standing again anyway.

Posted by Anne2 at Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 12:35pm GMT

At the second of our two district churches (the reason why I don't know the person concerned) a man has applied to be entered on the electoral roll but has given his address as "No permanent address" . Is he eligible to go on the roll? He has also ticked Box 2B (not being resident but have habitually attended...)
Thank you.

Posted by Ailidh at Friday, 28 March 2014 at 6:06pm GMT

At my church's AGM this year, I am planning to move a general resolution for the PCC to sign a letter to the bishop requesting for the removal of our vicar because he has caused disruption and driven long term members and office holders away from our church not to mention spoken very rudely to someone who questioned on him openly on him advertising books with prices in his sermons. What would be the correct procedure to request removal?

Posted by Harvey Hutchings at Saturday, 5 April 2014 at 9:32am BST

This set of Q & A's is very useful so ta for them.

My Q is as follows

"At an APCM what is the correct way of moving a general resolution or moving to give any particular recommendation to the council in relation to its duties"

Posted by Jon Smith at Sunday, 6 April 2014 at 4:03pm BST

We have our Annual Church meeting next week 22nd April. We have 4 readers living in the parish. 3 are licenced to the parish and one is PTO as he is over 70 years of age, but was licenced to the parish before he became PTO. What is the best thing to do if some of the readers want to become PCC members and Deanery Synod members, but some of them do not? Thanks

Posted by Richard at Saturday, 12 April 2014 at 11:02am BST

Assuming that they have been on your electoral roll for at least six months, your readers can stand for election to the PCC or deanery synod in the same way as any other lay person.

In addition the APCM can appoint some or all of the licensed readers (provided that they are on the electoral roll) to be members of the PCC, but not the deanery synod.

Posted by Peter Owen at Saturday, 12 April 2014 at 1:38pm BST

Thanks Peter for your reply. Can the APCM appoint PTO Readers to the PCC if they have been on the electoral roll over 6 months?

Posted by Richard at Sunday, 13 April 2014 at 9:09pm BST

Richard - No.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 14 April 2014 at 1:05am BST

How long do people need to be on the electoral roll before the APCM in order that they can attend/speak/stand for election?

Posted by Mark at Monday, 14 April 2014 at 11:26am BST

Rule 6 (2) "All lay persons whose names are entered on the roll of the parish shall be entitled to attend the annual meeting and to take part in its proceedings, and no other lay persons shall be so entitled."

Since names cannot be added to the roll between its annual revision and the end of the APCM, this means that a person needs to be on the roll for a few weeks in order to attend and speak at the APCM.

To be elected to the deanery synod or the PCC, a person over 18 must be on the electoral roll for the six months preceding the APCM.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 14 April 2014 at 5:00pm BST

If the PCC vacancies are not filled at the Annual Church meeting does the PCC have the power to fill those vacancies without having to call a full church meeting of those on the electoral roll?

Posted by Richard at Monday, 28 April 2014 at 12:43am BST

Yes. Unless the next APCM is less than two months away the PCC may (for ordinary PCC members) and must (for deanery synod members) fill any vacancies between APCMs. There is no power to call a meeting of electoral roll members for this purpose.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 28 April 2014 at 10:24am BST

I was under the impression that only elected PCC members had fiscal responsibility as charity trustees: that ex officio members had no such responsibility because they had no choice about being PCC members (eg P-i-c, Lay Reader). Is this right?

Posted by G M Conduit at Monday, 12 May 2014 at 3:00pm BST

Can a PCC vote by email

Posted by vernon at Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 8:53am BST

What is the position if no volunteers come forward at the Annual Church Meeting, or at subsequent PCC meetings, to stand as Church Wardens?
In my parish both Wardens stated that they no longer wished to continue in that role and no one has offered to fill the two vacancies. Both current Wardens believe that they must legally continue until 1st July but both will then resign.

Posted by Philip at Friday, 16 May 2014 at 4:24pm BST

No churchwardens elected... it's actually 31st July, but yes they automatically continue in office until July. Churchwardens Measure 2001 section 6(2) refers.

There's nothing to stop them resigning - in writing, to the Bishop - before them, though there is still a two month "notice period" unless the Bishops decides to let them vacate the post sooner.

If it hasn't already been done, it would be a Good Plan to be talking to the Archdeacon/Bishop at this point.

Richard (17 days left as warden!)

Posted by Richard at Monday, 19 May 2014 at 12:57pm BST

My deanery synod at their last meeting voted to require each PCC in the deanery to vote on 3 resolutions. Two of which are PCCs pledging devotion to the deanery and the final one is a resolution agreeing that the PCC will collaborate with the other PCCs in the area of youth work and provide a named rep by a certain date who will form a deanery youth subcommittee. I am reluctant to put these resolutions to my PCC feeling that on this occasion the tail is trying to wag the dog, but the lay chair has suggested that for me to refuse (in my role as chair of the PCC) I would be acting unconstitutionally. This seems an incredibly strange way for a synod to behave and unfortunately they are falling into the trap of trying to achieve things institutionally that can only be accomplished relationally. But are they right? Will I be unconstitutional (whatever that means) if I refuse. I need some wisdom here.....

Posted by Mark Griffiths at Thursday, 28 August 2014 at 11:00pm BST

I see from earlier comments that co-opted members have the same rights as elected members of the PCC. However, what if a person is told, via the minutes of the meeting at which they were co-opted, that they were co-opted as a Participating Observer, without voting rights, although the person co-opted has no recollection of that statement?

Posted by Jane at Wednesday, 17 September 2014 at 11:10pm BST

I am attending a C of E Church and have been asked to go on the Electoral Roll.I attend this Church because whilst my background is Baptist there is no local Baptist Church. I want to be involved in the life of the Church, but what does it mean to be a Member of the Church of England? Why can't I be an Elector who is a Baptist at heart?

Posted by James Hayes at Sunday, 19 October 2014 at 8:56pm BST

You can be a C of E elector and retain your Baptist allegiance too. The electoral roll form has three possible categories under which to become a "member" (in the sense of having a vote at the APCM and entitlement to marriage and burial if you don't live in the parish).
The third of those categories asks you to state that "I am a member in good standing of a Church (not in communion with the Church of England) which subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and also declare myself to be a member of the Church of England and I have habitually attended public worship in the parish during the period of six months prior to enrolment."
https://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/structure/churchlawlegis/church-representation-rules/appendix-i.aspx

Posted by Anne at Monday, 20 October 2014 at 11:20am BST

Can you help please, are OLMs (Ordained Local Ministers) ex-offico at PCC meetings and as such do they have full voting rights the same as elected lay members ?

also are curates ex-offico and as such do they have the same voting rights as above

and lastly .. does the Incumbent as chair have a vote alongside everyone else and then a second vote in the event of a tie ?

thanks !

Posted by sue at Sunday, 23 November 2014 at 7:47pm GMT

All licensed clergy (incumbents, OLMs, curates etc) are ex officio members of their PCC and have the same voting rights as any other member.

At PCC meetings the chair of the meeting (who is not necessarily the incumbent) has a second casting vote if there is a a tie.

Posted by Peter Owen at Sunday, 23 November 2014 at 11:10pm GMT

thank you so much for your reply below:
does the same apply please for Incumbent and OLM voting rights at the APCM ?

and also (a Q from a friend !) do retired clergy serving in the parish (but not licensed to it)have ex-officio membership and voting rights ?

thanks

Sue
All licensed clergy (incumbents, OLMs, curates etc) are ex officio members of their PCC and have the same voting rights as any other member.

At PCC meetings the chair of the meeting (who is not necessarily the incumbent) has a second casting vote if there is a a tie.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Sunday, 23 November 2014 at 11:10pm GMT

Posted by Sue at Monday, 24 November 2014 at 8:25am GMT

As I read the rules the minister, if present, chairs any meeting of the PCC (Rule 8.(1)). The 'minister' means the incumbent, except that in a team ministry it is the team vicar to whom that duty has been assigned by the bishop. But at any particular meeting the Chair (whoever that is) may choose to vacate the chair for any reason; or they may be required by resolution to vacate the chair.

No member of the clergy has any vote, normal or casting, in an election for 'parochial representatives of the laity'.

Retired clergy without a license (whether with or without a PTO) are not ex officio members of the PCC and have no voting rights at the Annual Meeting, and may not be elected to the PCC. However, they may be co-opted to the PCC, subject to the normal co-option rules. If so co-opted it is possible for the PCC and incumbent to jointly apply to the bishop of the diocese for that cleric to be able to chair PCC meetings if the incumbent is not present (or presumably if the incumbent chooses to vacate the chair)

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Monday, 24 November 2014 at 11:23am GMT

can anyone offer some advise please on the respective roles of incumbent and PCC ..
where the PCC measure says that the function of the PCC is to co-operate with the minister in promoting in the parish the whole mission of the church .. does the Vicar have the responsibility to lead in that & the PCC for cooperating with him/her?

& where is says that the PCC has 'power jointly with the minister to determine objects to which all monies shall be allocated' - I'd always understood that joint responsibiity to be that both incumbent and PCC must agree ie neither party can go forward without the other so we've always sought for consensus but am I right there ? A colleague says that the incumbent only has a vote in the matter at PCC (as other members do) and so the majority of the PCC can decide items for expenditure even if the incument isn't in agreement.

thank u

Posted by Kath at Sunday, 30 November 2014 at 8:21am GMT

Can an ALM(Authorised Lay Minister) be elected as a Churchwarden?

Posted by Gina at Thursday, 5 February 2015 at 8:33pm GMT

I am an electoral roll officer for a church and I have a specimen of an electoral roll form provided by the diocese. This includes addresses but some people have said that they do not want their address shown. Is this obligatory or can the address be omitted?

Posted by Norma at Wednesday, 25 February 2015 at 7:54pm GMT

Is someone allowed to nominate and second themselves for churchwarden?
The person is on the electoral roll
Thanks
Jean

Posted by Jean at Tuesday, 10 March 2015 at 3:26pm GMT

The Churchwardens Measure 2001 does not forbid a person from nominating themself; nor does it say that the same person cannot be both the proposer and the seconder in a nomination.

It probably does not say so because there is an underlying assumption that this does not happen. In particular it would not be unreasonable to consider it to be contrary to the plain meaning of the words for the same person to be both the proposer and seconder on the same nomination. I think one might rule a nomination invalid on those grounds alone.

But I'm no lawyer. If you need a proper legal opinion then you should ask the diocesan Registrar.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Wednesday, 11 March 2015 at 7:53am GMT

I see from the CRR that a third of the PCC needs to be present for a meeting to be quorate. What about an APCM, please? Do you need a third of the electoral roll to be present to be quorate? Thanks.

Posted by Josie at Sunday, 22 March 2015 at 7:20am GMT

Josie - there is no quorum for the APCM, nor is there one for a meeting to elect churchwardens.

Posted by Peter Owen at Sunday, 22 March 2015 at 6:06pm GMT

Does the PCC have discretion to enrol a non-resident applicant who does not meet the requirement to habitually attend public worship in the parish in the preceding 6 months but who, prior to moving from the parish, habitually attended worship since 1986 and who has held the position of treasurer and lay member of the Deanery Synod ??

Posted by Stephen Harrison at Wednesday, 15 April 2015 at 8:25am BST

At our recent APCM 9 members were required. It was announced there had been 9 nominees and so all were elected and their names read out. The a Parishioner called out that he had been nominated but his name not mentioned. The secretary check his briefcase and found the 'missing' nomination form. We then had a revote which meant there was a tie between 2 members. We then had to vote between these two on paper. Was this correct as I understood if there was a tie lots were drawn between the two nominees. Also if you were told you were elected and then learnt you were not was it right to have a revote? Can you also give me term times for PCC members. I understood after 3 years a certain number had to stand down?

Posted by Yvonne Haynes at Sunday, 26 April 2015 at 8:47pm BST

The relevant rules are in section 11 of the Church Representation Rules
"(3) If the number of candidates nominated is not greater than the number of seats to be filled, the candidates nominated shall forthwith be declared elected."

I'm not a lawyer but I'd think common sense says in your case the number of candidates nominated WAS greater than the number of seats to be filled, the fact that the secretary had mislaid one temporarily doesn't alter that, so a vote was needed.

NB Unlike the election of churchwardens PCC nominations don't have to be made in advance,
"(2)... A candidate shall be nominated or seconded either before the meeting in writing or at the meeting."
So even if there were only nine nominations made in writing there should have been opportunity for nominations to be made from the floor before declaring the nine candidates elected.

"(8)(a) Where owing to an equality of votes an election is not decided, the decision between the persons for whom the equal numbers of votes have been cast shall be taken by lot."
So the vote between the two tied candidates was incorrect procedure.

Term of office is covered by rule 16.
By default, elected members serve for 3 years, with one third of them coming up for re-election each year. However the APCM can vote to have one year terms of office, with all elected each year. Such a decision has to be reviewed at least every six years.

So it's perfectly possible that your parish elects all nine members each year. However there is provision for the APCM to set a limit on the number of consecutive terms someone can serve:

"Rule 17
The annual meeting may decide that no representative of the laity being a member of the parochial church council by virtue of rule 14(1)(g) may hold office after the date of that meeting for more than a specified number of years continuously and 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 council."

Posted by Shaun at Monday, 27 April 2015 at 2:01am BST

Are deputy wardens full PCC members or co-opted PCC members. We have just elected at the APCM 3 deputy wardens. Two of them are already PCC members having been elected earlier in the meeting as PCC members.

Posted by Richard at Tuesday, 28 April 2015 at 10:40pm BST

Who can appoint Deputy Churchwardens? Do they have the same voting powers as elected PCC members? 3 of our deputy churchwardens are also PCC elected members but one is not a PCC elected member.

Posted by Richard at Monday, 25 May 2015 at 12:53pm BST

There is no position in law of 'deputy churchwarden'. Anyone may of course be given that label, and it may be convenient in many places, but it gives them no legal authority to do anything. In particular, it does not give anyone ex officio membership of the PCC, let alone voting rights.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Monday, 25 May 2015 at 2:13pm BST

Actually there is now a possible office of deputy churchwarden, detailed in section 18.4 of the Church Representation Rules. They can be created "In any parish where there are two or more churches or places of worship" See the details here:
https://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/structure/churchlawlegis/church-representation-rules/part-ii.aspx#ba12

Of course many parishes (my own included) use it as an informal term with no legal standing, as Simon Kershaw says.

Posted by Shaun at Tuesday, 26 May 2015 at 1:12am BST

I have a suspicion that I have read somewhere (not sure where) that employees cannot be PCC members? This has been asked about a couple of times before (above) and not answered.

I can see that where a PCC has decided to employ a member of staff (eg a children's worker), it could be crucial that that person is a full member of the Council. Likewise, it seems very odd that clergy (I know they are not employees) are full members (albeit ex officio) with normal voting rights but a children's worker would not be.

Please could you point me to the relevant authority. And if my suspicion is correct, what recourse to challenge it is there?!

Thank you in advance....

Posted by Neil at Tuesday, 2 June 2015 at 12:15am BST

There is some guidance from the Parish Resources unit here http://www.parishresources.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/remunerationguidance.pdf

Posted by Shaun at Sunday, 7 June 2015 at 2:25am BST

Hi. Please help as PCC meeting tomorrow night. Please can you advise about whether under Rule 17 a PCC has to review regularly any previous decision to limit laity to 3 year terms before having a rest of one year. At present PCC is being run in very relaxed manner e.g. minutes/agenda given out at meetings and PIC is not consulting on major matters. Hearsay suggest PCC/APCM may have made a decision about 15 years ago to limit laity to 3 years stint. Does Ruke 17 tie in somehow with Rule 14? Many thanks.

Posted by Richard at Sunday, 14 June 2015 at 8:23pm BST

Richard

These decisions are made by the APCM and not by the PCC. The APCM can make two decisions about the representatives of the laity elected under rule 14(1)(g).

1) to change the default three-year term of office to one year [rule 16(3)]. This decision must be reviewed by the APCM at least every six years [rule 16(4)].

2) to put a limit on the length of continuous service [rule 17]. This decision does not have to be reviewed.

Posted by Peter Owen at Sunday, 14 June 2015 at 9:32pm BST

When should the first meeting of a PCC be held after the APCM please? Are there any rules about this? I don't think there are. I know that a short PCC meeting is often held immediately following the APCM in order to appoint the officers, but I don't think this is essential. I'm told that there may be "an issue with the officers having no authority after the APCM". Is that correct?

Posted by Mick at Thursday, 14 January 2016 at 5:04pm GMT

Are there rules applying to "any other business" on/off agenda for APCM? How do congregation members bring up matters of concern if letters sent in advance to sec/chair not acknowledged, AOB not on Agenda, and questions not accepted at meetings.

Posted by stella cork at Monday, 25 January 2016 at 6:06pm GMT

The business of the Annual Meeting is specified in Rule 9 and includes the following.

(7) Any person entitled to attend the annual meeting may ask any question about parochial church matters, or bring about a discussion of any matter of parochial or general church interest, by moving a general resolution or by moving to give any particular recommendation to the council in relation to its duties.

There is nothing about having to give notice of such questions or resolutions. Neither can the chair of the meeting refuse to accept them.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 25 January 2016 at 7:51pm GMT

What is the nature of a "general resolution" should it be passed. Can it bind the church to a new policy or line of action ? Or is it merely a statement of what the meeting agreed with no direct consequence ?

Posted by Neil at Friday, 29 January 2016 at 12:23am GMT

I do hope comments for this thread are not closed - it is most useful!
Our Priest-in-charge has resigned due to ill-health and will leave in six weeks (one week after our AGM) The Archdeacon wishes to be present at the formal vacancy meeting which will take place about a week later. Since this is some time away, our Chaplaincy Council (we are in the Diocese in Europe, so terminology is a bit different!) want to have a meeting before this to familiarise members with the vacancy process and start to discuss some decisions that have to be made, though we realise we cannot actually make the decisions until the formal meeting. Our outgoing priest is insisting that she chairs this meeting. We think this is highly inapropriate as members will not feel they can speak freely. We are aware that outgoing incumbents are not allowed to attend the formal meeting, but can our earlier meeting be classed under the same heading, since it will deal with matters concerned with the vacancy?

Posted by Geraldine Harrison at Tuesday, 23 February 2016 at 3:05pm GMT

Could you please advise if people can attend PCC meetings as an observer? If so is this as of right or only by permission.
Many thanks.

Posted by Randall Davidson at Thursday, 10 March 2016 at 9:05pm GMT

Can an incumbent overturn a decision voted on by and unanimously passed by the PCC?

Posted by Liz Cable at Tuesday, 29 March 2016 at 2:09pm BST

Can a person be elected as a churchwarden during an interregnum. I thought I read somewhere that it would be invalid.

Posted by Roger at Saturday, 16 April 2016 at 10:12pm BST

Churchwardens must be elected annually regardless of whether or not there is a minister in post. The Churchwardens Measure 2001 actually contains some explicit provisions about how to conduct the elections in the absences of a minister.

Posted by Peter Owen at Saturday, 16 April 2016 at 11:20pm BST

Our Parish is in Vacancy and one PCC member has started to ride rough- shod over many facets of our church life.
The Churchwardens are (1) ineffectual or (2) inexperienced to deal with the member and the conduct concerned.
Presumably, the PCC has no power to pass a Vote of No Confidence or to suspend the member?
As such, the member is thus free to disrupt the wider church life until having to stand down for one year at the next APCM.
Thank you

Posted by Neil D at Sunday, 5 June 2016 at 10:28pm BST

could you please advise if people can attend PCC meetings as an observer? If so is this as a right or only by permission?

Posted by Alan at Monday, 8 August 2016 at 12:21pm BST

I wrote on 5th June 2016 and would appreciate a response, merely to clarify my understanding of the CRR.
The PCC Secretary has now resigned following repeated critical emails circulated to all members of PCC.
Perhaps all PCC Members should consider resigning en- bloc?
Help

Posted by Neil D at Tuesday, 13 September 2016 at 6:49pm BST

Neil, my take on this is that the PCC has no power to expel or suspend a member. But they could ask the member to stop particular behaviours, either formally or informally. Or they could debate more generally how they want to behave as a PCC, and what is expected from each member, and what is indeed needed from them individually and collectively, especially during a vacancy. There should be a Vice-Chair, who chairs meetings during a vacancy, and this does not need to be one of the churchwardens.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Wednesday, 14 September 2016 at 9:54am BST

Could anyone tell me please, if votes taken at a PCC meeting are binding? My PCC voted for something that will affect a number of parishoners but at a later meeting, the vote was for another solution to the problem. What happens to the first vote? It wasn't rescinded. Please let me have some answers, there are several people who are very upset about all this & need answers. Thank you.

Posted by Jane at Thursday, 15 September 2016 at 10:47pm BST

To Neil I'd say if you haven't already, raise this with your Rural / Area Dean. Advising on this sort of problem is part of their role during a parish vacancy.

Posted by Shaun at Monday, 19 September 2016 at 12:19pm BST

Simon & Shaun,
Thank you both for your responses. Most useful.
Following the resignation of the PCC Secretary recently, our Area Dean has involved the help of a neighbouring senior Team Rector to arbitrate between the two persons.
I doubt if counselling will work, but I have suggested that the PCC consider introducing a Code of Conduct for all members of the PCC.
Neil

Posted by Neil D at Thursday, 29 September 2016 at 6:07pm BST

What happens if an elected member of the PCC requests the Electoral Roll Officer to remove his/her name from the Electoral Roll - does he/she automatically become disqualified from being a PCC member?

Posted by Richard at Thursday, 24 November 2016 at 9:05am GMT

Richard - The answer to your question is "Yes". See rule 14(3)(a).

Posted by Peter Owen at Thursday, 24 November 2016 at 10:57am GMT

Church Representation Rules 2011 state "a person whose name is entered on the roll of each of two or more parishes must choose one of those parishes for the purpose of the provisions of these rules which prescribe the qualifications for election to a deanery synod". When does the choice have to be made? For example can a person stand for election to Deanery Synod at the church with the earlier APCM and, if elected choose that parish, but if not elected choose the second parish?

Posted by John at Wednesday, 30 November 2016 at 10:03pm GMT

Peter - thank you for your response to my previous question about an elected PCC member removing his name from the Electoral Roll. What happens, though, if that person is the Treasurer? He clearly is no longer a member of the PCC and cannot be co-opted because he would no longer meet one of the requirements of an "actual communicant" by virtue of having removed his name from the roll. So who actually becomes the Treasurer? Does the position revert to the Churchwardens by default from the date of removal of the name until such time as the PCC appoints a replacement Treasurer or could that person carry on acting as Treasurer in the interim even though all links with the PCC have been severed? Thanks.

Posted by Richard at Tuesday, 6 December 2016 at 3:37pm GMT

Richard - You do not have to be on an electoral roll to be an actual communicant. Also the treasurer does not have to be a member of the PCC.

Posted by Peter Owen at Tuesday, 6 December 2016 at 9:46pm GMT

Peter - I think you do: see CRR Rule 54 (1) - An actual communicant is a person who has received communion according to the use of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with the Church of England at least three times during the twelve months preceding the date of his election or appointment being a person WHOSE NAME IS ON THE ROLL OF THE PARISH and is either -
(a) confirmed or ready and desirous of being confirmed; or
(b) receiving the Holy Communion in accordance with the provisions of Canon B 15A paragraph 1(b);

Posted by Richard at Wednesday, 7 December 2016 at 8:31am GMT

Peter - Also Rule 13 1 (e) says: (i) The council may appoint one or more of their number to act as treasurer solely or jointly. Failing such appointment, the office of treasurer shall be discharged either -
by such of the churchwardens as are members of the council or, if there is only one such churchwarden, by that churchwarden solely; or
by some other fit person who shall not thereby become a member of the council, PROVIDED THAT SUCH PERSON MAY BE CO-OPTED to the council in accordance with the provisions of rule 14(1)(h).
(ii) Where a person other than a member of the Council is appointed to act as treasurer that person may be paid such remuneration (if any) as the Council deems appropriate provided that such person shall not be eligible to be a member of the Council.

Posted by Richard at Wednesday, 7 December 2016 at 8:33am GMT

Richard

Actual communicant - you're quite right and I had overlooked the latter part of the rule. Being an actual communicant is only relevant to elections and such a person must be on the electoral roll.

Treasurer - The rule you quote is what I had in mind. But the only requirement of the non-member treasurer is that he/she be a "fit person". There is no requirement to be on the electoral roll, or to be an actual communicant, or even to be a member of the Church of England. Such requirements would only be relevant if the PCC wished to co-opt him/her.

Posted by Peter Owen at Wednesday, 7 December 2016 at 3:23pm GMT

Peter - have you spotted that a 2017 edition of the CRR has been published, price £9.99? I hope, however, that if you start a new thread (as you did when the 2011 edition was published) you will keep an archive of the above Qs and As as they are a useful resource.

Posted by David Lamming at Monday, 12 December 2016 at 5:06am GMT

Thank you David - I had not seen that.

I have published an article on the new edition of the Rules. I will close comments here. Comments on the Rules can be made on the new article.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 12 December 2016 at 11:07am GMT