Comments: Church Representation Rules 2017

Many thanks for this helpful comment. I had been wondering whether there was a list anywhere of changes made between 2011 and 2017.

Posted by Thomas Renz at Tuesday, 13 December 2016 at 2:47pm GMT

Peter and Thomas: There are other changes to the CRR now incorporated in the 2017 edition of the rules recently published by Church House Publishing. There are, as noted by Peter, the changes made by the 2014 Amendment Resolution, mostly relating to elections to General Synod.

In addition:

(i) There are the minor amendments to rules 42(1) and 46A(c) made by section 9 of the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2014.

(ii) Consequent on the repeal of the Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure 1993 by the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure 2014, all the references to the 1993 Measure that were in CRR rules 18 to 21 have been repealed.

(iii) Substantial changes to the rules (all of which will be in force by 1 January 2017) have been made by section 3 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016. These provide, inter alia, that a person whose name is included in a barred list (within the meaning of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006) or who has been convicted of an offence mentioned in Schedule 1 to the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, is disqualified from being a member of a PCC, DCC or any synod, or from being appointed to act or from acting as a PCC secretary or treasurer. The section inserts three new rules: 46B - waiver, 46C - suspension, and 46D - appeal. Rule 46B sets out the circumstances in which the diocesan bishop may waive the disqualification of a person convicted of an offence mentioned in Schedule 1 to the 1993 Act. (Note: there is no power to waive a disqualification arising from a person being on a barred list.) Rule 46C contains detailed provisions enabling the bishop to suspend a member of a PCC, DCC, or synod, or a PCC secretary or treasurer, who has been arrested on suspicion of committing, or who has been charged with committing, a Schedule 1 offence, where the bishop is satisfied that that person "presents a significant risk of harm." Rule 46C(5) defines 'significant risk of harm'. Section 2 of the Measure makes equivalent provision for the disqualification and suspension of churchwardens.

There are consequential amendments to a number of other rules and to the Forms in Appendix 1 to the CRR re the APCM Notice and the form of nomination to the House of Clergy or House of Laity of the Diocesan Synod.

It is likely that more radical changes to the CRR will be brought to General Synod in the next two years as part of the 'Simplification' agenda. Regardless of how any such proposals may be received by Synod (and it is to be noted that Synod voted down various amendments proposed in 2015), it is helpful to have this consolidated version of the rules with all the amendments currently in force (or to come into force on 1st January.)

Posted by David Lamming at Tuesday, 13 December 2016 at 6:56pm GMT

Re David Lamming at 1856 on 13/12/2016:

I think in "... Schedule 1 to the 1993 Act. (Note: there is no power ....." the year should read "1933".

Posted by RPNewark at Tuesday, 13 December 2016 at 9:15pm GMT

Reading this all this, I just know it's Xmas ....

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 13 December 2016 at 10:02pm GMT

Thanks for that list of changes, David.

It's a pity that the online rules cannot be kept up to date. At present the most recent update is the one that came into effect on 1 Jan 2010. There is a note that [unspecified] "Updates made in July 2014 will be included soon." but there is no mention at all of the more recent ones.

Posted by Peter Owen at Tuesday, 13 December 2016 at 10:03pm GMT

RPNewark @9.15 pm on the 13th: Thanks for the correction. I spotted the typo, but only after I had pressed 'Post'.
Laurence @10.02 pm on the 13th: Meaning what?
Peter @10.03 pm on the 13th: I'll write to Church House to point out that the online copy needs to be updated - ideally no later than 1 January 2017 when the latest amendments take effect.

Posted by David Lamming at Wednesday, 14 December 2016 at 2:20pm GMT

CRR Disqualification Rules 46A.(1) (ac) and (ad), [page 56], are not included in Section 4 Rule [6(1)] under Note (3) on page 74 - which perhaps they should be. Alternatively perhaps Appendix II Rule [13] 1.(d) and (e) should include a cross reference to the Disqualification rule, which otherwise,is not brought to the attention of Chairs - and Members - of PCCs
unless they stumble upon it when reading from cover to cover.

Posted by David Woods at Friday, 27 January 2017 at 4:06pm GMT

Help! Have just become PCC Sec and Electoral Roll Officer. Can you clarify whether names can be added to the Roll throughout the year OR only during the Annual Revision of the Roll? We have different interpretations within the Standing Committee on this.Many thanks.

Posted by william clarke at Sunday, 12 February 2017 at 12:33pm GMT

Names must be added to the electoral roll whenever someone submits a valid application to be enrolled.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 13 February 2017 at 4:17pm GMT

What is the position when (i) the notice convening the APCM has only been visible on the noticeboard for three days before the meeting (previously overpinned by other papers),(ii) the Annual Accounts are not visible on the noticeboard (other papers pinned over them) and (iii) the notice convening the Annual Meeting of Parishioners is dated and posted on the noticeboard only three days before the meeting? Does (i) and (iii) make the respective meetings invalid/void if they go ahead and (ii) prevent acceptance, even if the meeting goes ahead?

Posted by Richard at Friday, 10 March 2017 at 4:51pm GMT

Does electing a serving PCC member to be a lay Deanery Synod Representative mid 3 year PCC term create a casual vacancy on PCC for the remainder of that 3 year term, as the new Deanery Synod Representative has now become an ex-officio member of the PCC? OR is the new Deanery Synod Rep both an ex-officio member and an elected member of PCC until the end of their 3 year year PCC term?

Posted by Andrew at Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 12:17am BST

Andrew - The election to the Deanery Synod does not create a casual vacancy on the PCC; rule 47 refers. The person concerned is now both an ex-officio member and an elected member of the PCC.

There is of course nothing to stop them resigning their elected position on the PCC, but that is their decision.

Posted by Peter Owen at Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 2:29pm BST

what is the purpose of a standing committee and how do they achieve the objective

Posted by david preece at Wednesday, 12 July 2017 at 6:52pm BST

if you are in a vacancy and have appointed a lay chair of PCC, should you also appoint a lay vice chair.

Posted by david preece at Wednesday, 12 July 2017 at 7:15pm BST

Can a PCC Secretary be elected as a Church Warden and the two posts run concurrently or would the person need to resign from the post of secretary?

Posted by Julie Lee at Wednesday, 6 September 2017 at 2:18pm BST

Appendix II to the Rules states that the PCC "may appoint one of their number to act as secretary of the Council". No members are stated to be ineligible.

Posted by Peter Owen at Wednesday, 6 September 2017 at 10:03pm BST

Are secret ballots allowed, and if a PCC decides that a secret ballot is appropriate for a particular resolution, can this be nullified by one fifth of the members requesting that individual votes be recorded and published?
This is of particular significance in the light if the Ecclesiatical Offices (Terms of Service) (amendment) Measure 2017, where, for example, PCC approval is required for the extension of an incumbency when the incumbent reaches the age of 70. If in this situation the PCC approves an extension, but it is publicly recorded that some identified members of the PCC voted against, it could create intolerable tensions within the working of the parish.

Posted by Mike Stallybrass at Sunday, 31 December 2017 at 10:41pm GMT

Are PCC meetings open to be observed? My understanding is that a PCC meeting, as a meeting of Charity Trustees, is subject to the normal rules governing observation of a Charity governing body meeting, as defined in Charity law. That would mean that the meetings are open to observers, unless they are explicitly excluded for specific agenda items, by a vote of the PCC at the relevant meeting.

Posted by Mike Stallybrass at Sunday, 31 December 2017 at 10:50pm GMT

Annual Report from the PCC to the APCM: there is no requirement in the CRR2017, as far as I can find, for this to be formally approved by the PCC before presentation to the APCM.

However eg. Parish Resources states "The PCC must adopt the report before it is presented to the APCM and it must be dated and signed by the chairman of the PCC meeting at which it was adopted." What authority is there for this?

Many thanks.

Posted by william clarke at Tuesday, 23 January 2018 at 8:02pm GMT

Can a churchwarden who has completed 6 years service stand for re-election if other people have been proposed for the post?

Posted by Julie Lee at Wednesday, 4 April 2018 at 3:27pm BST

By default a churchwarden who has completed six continuous years of service is ineligible to stand for election for two years. But the meeting of parishioners can vote not to apply this rule. In any case eligibility to stand for election has nothing to do with whether or not there are other candidates.

Posted by Peter Owen at Wednesday, 4 April 2018 at 5:18pm BST

And note that all nominations for churchwarden must be on the table (or rather, already with the Chair) before the meeting begins, and must be valid at that point.

So a meeting cannot rescind the rule, and retrospectively make valid the nomination. Setting aside the rule only has effect at the next following meeting.

But once two years have elapsed the disqualification no longer applies, and the person concerned can be validly nominated again without the meeting passing any resolutions.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Wednesday, 4 April 2018 at 5:31pm BST

Thank you for your answers. Can I just check? Our AGM is on Tuesday and to date the 6 year rule hasn't been rescinded. The current warden has completed 6 years but has been proposed and seconded again and there are 2 further candidates. Can the 6 year rule be rescinded on Tuesday evening at the beginning of the meeting before the elections or does it need to be at a different time?

Posted by Julie Lee at Saturday, 7 April 2018 at 3:30pm BST

Julie - You can rescind the rule at any time during this year's meeting. But that is too late to affect the validity of any nominations for this year as they must be made before the meeting starts. So, in short, your current warden is ineligible to stand for election this year.

Posted by Peter Owen at Saturday, 7 April 2018 at 9:28pm BST

How long is given for elected PCC members to return their 'fit and proper persona's form , following the apcm?

Posted by Christine King at Tuesday, 17 April 2018 at 7:06am BST
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