Thinking Anglicans

Church Representation Rules 2011

A new edition of the Church Representation Rules of the Church of England has been published: Church Representation Rules 2011. The previous edition was dated 2006, and since then changes have been made to the rules by the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007 and the Church Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution 2009.

I have listed below the fold a summary of these changes.

It is important to note that there is no fully up-to-date copy of the Rules available online.

The Rules originated as Schedule 3 to the Synodical Government Measure 1969, but they have been amended many times since then. Although the online text of the Measure is updated to incorporate amendments, there is a timelag, and the notes at the beginning of the online text of Schedule 3 list changes dating back to 2003 that have not yet been made.

It should also be noted that the rules in the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not necessarily the same as in England.

Changes made by the Church Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution 2009

Replace Rule 13 by “13. 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.”

A number of changes to Rules 19 (Joint parochial church councils), 20 (Team councils) and 21 (Group councils)

A reduction in the minimum size of diocesan synods from 120 to 100 (Rule 31(8))

An increase in the minimum nomination period for diocesan synod elections from 14 to 21 days (Rule 32(4))

The correction of an error in paragraph 5 of Appendix II

Changes made by the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007

Section 49(4) added a new Rule 27A.
27A Representation of persons to whom mission orders relate
(1) Any diocesan synod may, at the request of the bishop or bishops who has or have made a bishop’s mission order under section 47 of the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007 which is in force, provide by scheme for representation on such deanery synod as may be determined by or under the scheme of such persons to whom the order relates as may be specified in or under the scheme.
(2) The provisions of rule 26(2) shall apply to schemes made under this rule.

Section 63(6) and Schedule 7 removed all references to Area Synods from Rules 24(6)(b) and 34(1)(c).

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Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
10 years ago

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.

John Wallace
John Wallace
10 years ago

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

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
10 years ago

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.

David Willmets
David Willmets
10 years ago

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

S Evans
S Evans
10 years ago

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

David Lamming
David Lamming
10 years ago

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… Read more »

EDWARD BYGOTT
EDWARD BYGOTT
10 years ago

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

Janet L. Mitchell
Janet L. Mitchell
10 years ago

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!!

Shaun
Shaun
10 years ago

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?

David Lamming
David Lamming
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Shaun
Shaun
10 years ago

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.

John Tompkins
John Tompkins
10 years ago

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.

Richard
Richard
10 years ago

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.

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Richard Huss
Richard Huss
10 years ago

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.

Richard
Richard
10 years ago

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?

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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.

Andy
Andy
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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.

David Lamming
David Lamming
10 years ago

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”.)

Richard
Richard
10 years ago

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.

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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

Geoff
Geoff
10 years ago

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?

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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.

Shaun
Shaun
10 years ago

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?

Christopher
Christopher
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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.

Leslie
Leslie
10 years ago

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?

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

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.

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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.

Terry Corbett
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Terry Corbett
10 years ago

Thank you for that, Peter

David Lamming
David Lamming
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Richard
Richard
10 years ago

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?

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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.

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

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.

David Lamming
David Lamming
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Richard Huss
Richard Huss
10 years ago

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.

Trevor Ride
Trevor Ride
10 years ago

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.

Ken Shorey
Ken Shorey
10 years ago

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

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Roger Bryant
Roger Bryant
10 years ago

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

David Lamming
David Lamming
10 years ago

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… Read more »

William
William
10 years ago

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

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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

Kenneth Hobbs
Kenneth Hobbs
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Peter Owen
10 years ago

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… Read more »

Peter
Peter
10 years ago

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?

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