PCC and Church Officers
The PCC takes the lead in carrying out the mission of the church – the whole church. Working alongside and supporting the clergy, pastoral care, telling the story of faith, social action and co-operation with churches of other denominations all fall within its remit. In many ways it is the PCC that shapes the health of the church.
PCCs are legal entities and are governed by two pieces of Church of England legislation, called Measures. These are the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956, which defines its principal functions, and the Church Representation Rules.
This second document is particularly useful in understanding the operational rules that govern the PCC and includes information on how often it meets, its members, how elections are held, the responsibilities of its officers and how it relates with bodies such as the Deanery Synod and Diocesan Synod. It also looks at the rules that govern bodies such as District Church Councils, Joint PCCs, Team and Group PCCs.
Both documents can be downloaded from the Government’s legislation website.
Further information for specific roles within the PCC can be found below, along with links to the downloadable forms and guidance each role might find useful.
On 9 July 2020 the Bishop of Exeter made legal provision for PCCs to meet remotely for a period of 1 year. Read the document here
If you have any further questions please contact the Synod Office by email or by telephone on 01392 294931.
Churchwardens may traditionally be responsible for maintenance of buildings and keeping records, but today they are vital to mission and ministry, caring for both parish and minister. It is a post that is challenging as well as rewarding.
Remember that your Archdeacon is always willing to advise you.
Documents and Forms that you might find helpful are below.
There are more helpful documents for churchwardens in the Resources section of the document library. Click on the ‘PCC and Church Officers’ link: Churchwardens documents.
There is no requirement for the treasurer to be a qualified accountant although in larger churches this may be an advantage. A head for figures helps as does a flair for administration and an understanding of the needs and potential of your parish.
Your responsibilities will depend on the size and complexity of the parish but you will probably find yourself:
- Implementing the financial decisions of the PCC
- Drafting an annual budget
- Recording and checking all financial transactions carried out on behalf of the PCC
- Ensuring that the PCC meets all its financial obligations including Common Fund payments, clergy expenses and appropriate levels of insurance
- Preparing the annual financial statements for approval by the PCC and submission to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting
- Monitoring the PCC’s finances throughout the year, and alerting the PCC to potential problems.
Help is always available from the diocesan finance department via email or by phoning 01392 272686.
See the Finance section of our documents library for forms and advice of use to you.
Being a PCC Secretary is not just about writing minutes and circulating agendas although these things are necessary. It is about using your gifts for administration to make sure that the church is supported as it goes about its mission and service.
Thanks to the work of the PCC Secretary the other members of the PCC can be well prepared for meetings so that time is not wasted in matters of routine, decisions are made clear so that the right actions are undertaken, correspondence is dealt with graciously and, during a vacancy, the processes for appointing a new minister run smoothly.
If you would like advice on matters of procedure please contact the Synod office via email or by telephone on 01392 294931.
There are a range of forms and documents that might be helpful for you in our documents library. They include information on the Annual Parochial Church Meeting and running elections.
Electoral Roll Officers
The electoral roll officer keeps the electoral roll up to date and reports any changes to the PCC. While for much of the year the position is unlikely to be onerous there are times when tasks need to be undertaken to quite a strict time schedule.
- Revisions: The electoral roll is revised annually when new people may be added and others removed. The revision is completed not less than 15 days, and not more than 28 days, before the annual meeting. This allows time for anyone who wishes to inspect it to do so. The revised list (which should include every name entered on the roll but no other personal data) is published for at least 14 days before the Annual Meeting. At the meeting itself complete the electoral roll certificate and publish one copy (for at least 14 days) and send another to the diocesan offices. This has to be done by 1st July each year.
- Renewals: Every six years a completely new electoral roll is prepared. This process is next due in 2025 and has a longer timetable. Not less than two months before the annual meeting warning is given of the new roll. This warning period lasts for at least 14 days and at every service on each of the two Sundays in this period the person taking the service announces the intention to create a new roll. It is the responsibility of the PCC to take reasonable steps to inform everyone currently on the role that a new roll is being prepared. Everyone who wishes to be on the roll, even if they are already on it, must complete an application form. The new roll is again completed not less than 15 days, and not more than 28 days, before the annual meeting followed by a period of inspection lasting at least 14 days. During this time corrections may be made but no additions or removals.
Annual Parochial Meeting and Electoral Roll documents
Deanery Synod Representatives
Deanery Synods meet to bring together the views of parishes in the deanery on common opportunities and problems so that they may work together to promote the mission of the Church. Visiting speakers are often invited to help in this. They consider the business of the Diocesan Synod and make common concerns and views known to this wider body.
Deanery Synods are an opportunity to meet with other Christians, to worship together, to learn from each other and to share experiences. They meet 3-4 times each year. Deanery Synod representatives are ex officio members of the PCC and are called to be a link between the parishes in the local area.
The Parish Safeguarding Representatives take a key role in the wellbeing of children and young people within the church. They promote sensitivity within the Parish toward all those affected by abuse and are at the forefront of ensuring that DBS checks are carried out. Please see the safeguarding pages for information.
Sections 1-5 of the Church Representation Rules deal with the Electoral Roll. Further information and advice is available from the Synod Office on 01392 294931.
Documents and forms you might find helpful are available in our documents library. Please click on the left hand link for Resources and then click on ‘PCC and Church Officers’.