Parish returns

At various points throughout the year parishes are asked for information. Some requests, like Statistics for Mission, are used both locally and nationally to inform future development. Others, like Parish Finance and the parish accounts, are part of our joint statutory obligations, while the Archdeacons’ Articles of Enquiry help to identify areas where we can offer help. The requests outlined below are those which occur every year and hopefully will give you a good overview of what might be expected and when. Alternatively if you prefer a shorter checklist you can download and print the Information Checklist here. Many of the forms mentioned can also be downloaded from the Documents area of the diocesan website http://www.exeter.anglican.org/documents

Statistics for Mission
Archdeacons’ Articles of Enquiry
Electoral Roll Form
Parochial Church officers (blue form)
Parish Finance Form and a copy of the Parish Accounts
Participant form

Statistics for Mission

These questions are set by the national church and ask for details on church attendance and the various services that are held throughout the year. These are sent out to PCC secretaries each September for completion by end January. These can be completed online using the parish returns website https://parishreturns.churchofengland.org or can be returned to Sophie West at the Old Deanery. If you would like access to the online system please email Sophie West.

Archdeacons’ Articles of Enquiry

These are sent out to churchwardens roughly in February for completion in March. They should be completed by churchwardens, preferably with the knowledge and agreement of their PCCs and incumbent, and returned to the Archdeacon.  They help to identify areas where help or training might be useful.

Electoral Roll Form

These are sent out to PCC secretaries in the autumn of the preceding year along with the remaining paperwork for the Annual Parochial Church Meetings (APCMs). They are used to determine the number of lay representatives at each deanery synod and should be returned to Sara Ashton at the Old Deanery by the end of May.

Parochial Church officers (blue form)

These are sent out to parishes in March for completion after the APCMs confirming the contact details of key people within the parish. They are sent out from the Archdeacons’ offices and usually go to one of the churchwardens. However, sometimes they are sent to clergy to pass on to the congregations in their care. These are returned to the Archdeacon by the 1st May. It is very important that each entry is checked, amended where necessary and signed by the person concerned and not on their behalf. If the person is away, even for a prolonged period, they would still need to sign on their return. This information allows us to establish good communication links with parishes and ensure that contact details are used as the individual wishes.

Parish Finance Form and a copy of the Parish Accounts

The parish finance forms are sent out roughly in March to PCC treasurers but should not be completed until the accounts have been approved at the APCMs in April.  These are returned to the Deanery Treasurer or are completed online using the same website as the Statistics for Mission data. The Parish Accounts are also returned to your Deanery Treasurer (unless otherwise advised). Collecting these two documents help us to fulfil our oversight obligations given that most churches are considered as excepted charities by the Charities Commission.

Participant form

These are sent out to PCC treasurer in May for completion by the end of June and are usually returned to the Rural Dean unless otherwise advised. This information is used in the calculation of common fund.

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