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Synodical Government Measure 1969

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[F1Section A: Annual parochial church meetingE

Textual Amendments

The annual meetingE
Timing and attendanceE

M1(1)In every parish, the annual parochial church meeting (referred to in this Part of these Rules as “the annual meeting”) must be held in the period which begins with 1 January and ends with 31 May.E

(2)The following persons are entitled to attend the annual meeting and take part in its proceedings—

(a)every lay person whose name is on the roll of the parish,

(b)every clerk in Holy Orders to whom paragraph (3) applies,

(c)where the parish is in the area of a benefice for which there is a team ministry, every member of the team,

(d)where the parish is in the area of a group ministry, every incumbent and priest in charge in the group ministry, and

(e)where the parish is in the area of a group ministry which includes the area of a benefice for which there is a team ministry, every vicar in the team ministry.

(3)This paragraph applies to a clerk in Holy Orders if he or she—

(a)is beneficed in or licensed to the parish or to another parish in the area of the benefice to which the parish belongs,

(b)is resident in the parish and is not beneficed in or licensed to any other parish,

(c)does not come within sub-paragraph (a) or (b) but is declared by the PCC with the agreement of the minister to be a habitual worshipper in the parish, or

(d)is a co-opted member of the PCC under Rule M15(1)(k).

(4)A declaration under paragraph (3)(c) has effect until the earlier of—

(a)the conclusion of the annual meeting in the year in which a new roll is prepared under Rule 7, and

(b)the clerk in question ceasing to be a habitual worshipper in the parish.

Convening meetingE

M2(1)The minister must convene the annual meeting by displaying a notice in Form M1—E

(a)in the case of the parish church or, where there is more than one church in the parish, each of those churches, on or near the principal door, and

(b)in the case of each building in the parish licensed for public worship, in a location readily visible to members of the congregation.

(2)The period for which a notice under paragraph (1) is on display must include the last two Sundays before the day of the meeting.

(3)The annual meeting must be held at a place in the parish unless the PCC decides otherwise.

(4)In a case where the minister is absent or incapacitated by illness or for some other reason or where there is nobody who is the minister within the meaning of these Rules (see Rule 83(1)), the minister's function under this Rule is to be carried out by—

(a)the vice-chair of the PCC, or

(b)if there is not a vice-chair or the vice-chair is unable or unwilling to act, the secretary of the PCC or some other person appointed by the PCC.

New parish: special meetingE

M3(1)Where the parish is a new parish created by a pastoral scheme, the minister of the new parish or, in the absence of a minister, a person appointed by the bishop of the diocese must, as soon as possible after the scheme comes into operation, convene a special parochial church meeting (referred to as “the special meeting”).E

(2)The special meeting is to be treated for the purposes of these Rules as the annual meeting for the year in which it is held.

(3)Subject to that, the provisions of these Rules relating to the convening or conduct of the annual meeting apply to the special meeting.

Proceedings and electionsE
ChairE

M4(1)The chair of the annual meeting is—E

(a)the minister, or

(b)if the minister is absent or decides to vacate the chair or if there is nobody who is the minister within the meaning of these Rules (see Rule 83(1)), the vice-chair of the PCC, or

(c)if the vice-chair of the PCC is absent or decides not to take the chair—

(i)a person chosen by the annual meeting, or

(ii)if the parish belongs to a benefice for which there is a team ministry and paragraph (2) applies, the rector in the team ministry.

(2)This paragraph applies if—

(a)a vicar in the team ministry has the function of chairing the annual meeting (or a share in discharging that function) by virtue of a pastoral scheme or bishop's licence, and

(b)the vicar is absent but the rector in the team ministry is present.

(3)If there is an equality of votes, the chair of the meeting has a second, casting vote, except in the case of an election taking place at the annual meeting (as to which, see Rule M9(8)).

Business: reports etc.E

M5(1)The PCC must provide the annual meeting with each of the following, which the annual meeting may then discuss—E

(a)a report on the changes to the roll since the last annual 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 PCC and the activities of the parish generally,

(c)the financial statements of the PCC for the year ending on the 31 December preceding the meeting,

(d)the annual fabric report under section 50 of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018, and

(e)a report of the proceedings of the deanery synod.

(2)The PCC must ensure that a copy of the roll is available for inspection at the meeting.

(3)The annual report to be provided under paragraph (1)(b) must include a statement as to whether the PCC has complied with the duty under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 (duty to have regard to House of Bishops' guidance on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults).

(4)The annual report to be provided under paragraph (1)(b) must be prepared in the form specified by the Business Committee.

(5)The financial statements to be provided under paragraph (1)(c)—

(a)must be prepared in the form specified by the Business Committee, and

(b)must be independently examined or audited in the manner specified by the Business Committee.

(6)If the PCC approves the financial statements that have been examined or audited under paragraph (5)(b), the chair of the meeting at which they are approved must sign them.

(7)Once the financial statements have been signed under paragraph (6), the PCC must, for at least seven days before the annual meeting—

(a)publish the signed statements in such form (whether electronic or otherwise) as it decides, and

(b)make a copy of the signed statements available for inspection, on a reasonable request being made.

(8)The PCC must, before the end of 28 days beginning with the date of the annual meeting, ensure that a copy of the annual report and financial statements provided under paragraph (1)(b) and (c) are given to the secretary of the diocesan board of finance for it to retain.

Business: elections and appointmentsE

M6(1)The annual meeting must, in the manner provided by Rule M9, do the following things in the following order—E

(a)elect in every third year parochial representatives of the laity to the deanery synod;

(b)elect parochial representatives of the laity to the PCC.

(2)The annual meeting, having conducted the elections under paragraph (1), must appoint a person who is not a member of the PCC to be the independent examiner or auditor of the PCC for a term of office ending at the conclusion of the next annual meeting.

(3)It is for the PCC to pay the remuneration of a person appointed under paragraph (2).

(4)A person may be appointed as the independent examiner of the PCC only if the person comes within the description given in section 145(1)(a) of the Charities Act 2011 (independent person with requisite ability and experience etc.).

(5)A person may be appointed as the auditor of the PCC only if the person is eligible as the auditor of a charity under section 144(2) of that Act (eligibility as statutory auditor).

(6)The annual meeting may not appoint sidesmen; the duty to do so is imposed on the PCC by section 2(2)(f) of the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956.

(7)In the case of a new parish (see Rule M3), a special meeting must (in addition to its other business) decide on the number of members of the PCC who are to be elected representatives of the laity until the annual meeting held in the following year; and that number need not accord with the number provided for under Rule M15(8).

Business: miscellaneousE

M7(1)Any person who is entitled to attend the annual meeting may ask a question about parochial church matters or bring about a discussion of any matter of parochial or general church interest—E

(a)by moving a general resolution, or

(b)by moving to make a particular recommendation to the council in relation to its duties.

(2)The annual meeting—

(a)may adjourn;

(b)may determine its own rules of procedure.

(3)The secretary of the PCC, or such other person as the meeting may appoint instead, acts as the clerk of the annual meeting and must record the minutes.

Qualifications of persons to be electedE

M8(1)A person is qualified for election as a parochial representative of the laity to the deanery synod or PCC under Rule M6(1)(a) or (b) if—E

(a)the person is aged 16 or over,

(b)he or she is an actual communicant, and

(c)his or her name is on the roll of the parish and, unless he or she is aged under 18 at the date of the election, has been on the roll for at least the preceding six months.

(2)But if the person has his or her name on the roll of more than one parish, he or she must choose one of the parishes concerned for the purpose of qualifying for election as a parochial representative of the laity to the deanery synod.

(3)A person may not be nominated for election under Rule M6(1)(a) or (b) unless—

(a)the person has indicated his or her consent to serve, or

(b)there is, in the opinion of the meeting, sufficient evidence of his or her willingness to serve.

(4)A person may not be nominated for election under Rule M6(1)(a) if the person is disqualified under Part 7.

(5)A person who serves as a parochial representative of the laity on the deanery synod for the whole or any part of each of two successive terms of office may not be nominated for election under Rule M6(1)(a) to serve as such for the whole or any part of the term of office immediately following the second of those terms.

(6)Paragraph (5) does not apply to a term of office—

(a)which began before the commencement of Schedule 1 to the Church Representation and Ministers Measure 2019 (which substituted the whole of the Church Representation Rules), or

(b)which the person concerned is serving as a result of having been elected to fill a casual vacancy.

(7)The annual meeting may by resolution decide that paragraph (5) does not apply to the parish; and a resolution to that effect may be revoked by a subsequent annual meeting or special parochial church meeting.

(8)A person may not be nominated for election under Rule M6(1)(b) if—

(a)the person is disqualified under Part 7, or

(b)the person is disqualified from being the trustee of a charity (and the disqualification is not subject to a waiver which permits membership of a PCC).

Conduct of an electionE

M9(1)This Rule applies in the case of every election which is to take place at the annual meeting, subject to any variations made by a resolution under Rule M10 or M11.E

(2)A candidate must be nominated, either before the meeting in writing or at the meeting, by two persons each of whom—

(a)must be entitled to attend the meeting, and

(b)must have his or her name on the roll of a parish.

(3)If the number of candidates does not exceed the number of seats to be filled, each candidate is declared elected.

(4)If the number of candidates exceeds the number of seats to be filled, an election must take place in accordance with the following provisions.

(5)Every lay person whose name is on the roll of the parish is entitled to vote in the election.

(6)Each person entitled to vote has as many votes as there are seats to be filled, but may not give more than one vote to the same candidate.

(7)Votes may be given by a show of hands; but if one or more persons object to that, each vote is to be given on a voting paper signed on the back by the voter.

(8)If there is an equality of votes, the election is decided by the drawing of a lot by the presiding officer.

(9)On a recount of an election or a stage of an election, either on an appeal or at the request of the presiding officer or a candidate, if the original count and the recount are identical at the point when a lot must be drawn, the original lot must be used to decide.

(10)The presiding officer for an election at the annual meeting is the chair of the meeting, unless a presiding officer is appointed under Rule M11(3).

Adoption of STV systemE

M10(1)The annual meeting may resolve that the election of parochial representatives of the laity (whether to the deanery synod or to the PCC or to both) is to be conducted by the single transferable vote system.E

(2)A resolution under this Rule is valid only if it is approved by at least two-thirds of those present and voting at the meeting; and it does not take effect until the next annual meeting.

(3)Where a resolution under this Rule is passed, the election is to be held in accordance with the rules for the time being in force under the General Synod's Standing Orders; and those rules have effect for that purpose with whatever modifications are necessary.

Postal votingE

M11(1)The annual meeting may resolve that a person entitled to attend the meeting and vote in the election of parochial representatives of the laity may apply on Form M2 for a postal vote.E

(2)A resolution under this Rule is valid only if it is approved by at least two-thirds of those present and voting at the meeting; and it does not take effect until the next annual meeting.

(3)Where applications for a postal vote have been received by the date specified in the notice convening the next annual meeting and the number of candidates nominated exceeds the number of seats to be filled, that annual meeting must appoint a presiding officer; and the person appointed may not be a candidate in the election.

(4)At that annual meeting, a voting paper must be given to each person present who is entitled to vote; and completed voting papers must be returned into the custody of the presiding officer before the close of the meeting.

(5)The presiding officer must ensure that each person who has applied for a postal vote on Form M2 is given a voting paper within seven days of the close of the meeting.

(6)A vote is counted only if it is given on a voting paper—

(a)which is marked in the manner indicated on the paper,

(b)the back of which is signed by the elector, and

(c)which is returned to the presiding officer within 14 days of the close of the meeting.

Result of an electionE

M12(1)The result of an election held at the annual meeting, or which involved postal voting in accordance with a resolution under Rule M11, must be announced as soon as practicable by the presiding officer.E

(2)A notice of the result must be displayed—

(a)in the case of the parish church or, where there is more than one church in the parish, each of those churches, on or near the principal door, and

(b)in the case of each building in the parish licensed for public worship, in a location readily visible to members of the congregation.

(3)A notice under paragraph (2) must remain on display for at least 14 days.

(4)The notice must specify the date on which the result was declared.

(5)After the end of the period for which the notice was on display under paragraph (3), the secretary of the PCC must keep a list of every member's name and address.

(6)The list under paragraph (5) must be made available for inspection, on reasonable notice being given to the secretary by a person who is resident in the parish or has his or her name on the roll; but the secretary need not provide a copy of the list.

(7)Where a member has provided the secretary with an email address, the address recorded for that member on the list must include that email address.

(8)The list in the form in which it is made available under paragraph (6) must include every name recorded on it but no other personal data.

(9)The secretary of the PCC must give the name and address of every person elected to the deanery synod as a parochial representative of the laity to—

(a)the diocesan electoral registration officer, and

(b)the secretary of the deanery synod.

Special and extraordinary meetingsE
Special meetingE

M13(1)The minister may convene a special parochial church meeting in addition to the annual meeting; and the minister must do so if at least one-third of the lay members of the PCC make a written representation to him or her for there to be such a meeting.E

(2)The provisions of these Rules relating to the convening or conduct of the annual meeting apply, with whatever modifications are necessary, to a special parochial church meeting.

(3)The following persons are entitled to attend a special parochial church meeting—

(a)every lay person whose name is on the roll of the parish on the day which is 21 clear days before the day on which the meeting is to be held, and

(b)every clerk in Holy Orders who would be entitled to attend the annual meeting if it were to be held on the day on which the special meeting is to be held.

(4)In a case where the minister is absent or incapacitated by illness or for some other reason or where there is nobody who is the minister within the meaning of these Rules (see Rule 83(1)), the minister's function under this Rule is to be carried out by—

(a)the vice-chair of the PCC, or

(b)if there is not a vice-chair or the vice-chair is unable or unwilling to act, the secretary of the PCC or some other person appointed by the PCC.

Extraordinary meetingE

M14(1)The archdeacon whose archdeaconry includes the parish must, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), convene an extraordinary parochial church meeting if—E

(a)at least one-third of the lay members of the PCC or one-tenth of the persons whose names are on the roll of the parish make a written representation to the archdeacon to that effect, and

(b)the archdeacon considers that the representation is made with sufficient cause.

(2)Where the archdeacon is the minister, the bishop of the diocese or a person appointed by the bishop must, subject to paragraph (3), convene an extraordinary parochial church meeting if—

(a)at least one-third of the lay members of the PCC or one-tenth of the persons whose names are on the roll of the parish make a representation to the bishop for there to be such a meeting, and

(b)the bishop or a person appointed by the bishop considers that the representation is made with sufficient cause.

(3)The duty under paragraph (1) or (2) does not arise if, in response to the representation, an extraordinary meeting of the PCC is convened under Rule M33.

(4)At a meeting convened under this Rule, the person who convened the meeting must either take the chair or appoint someone else to do so.

(5)If the chair of the meeting would not otherwise be entitled to attend, he or she may not vote on any resolution before the meeting.

(6)The following persons are entitled to attend an extraordinary parochial church meeting—

(a)every lay person whose name is on the roll of the parish on the day which is 21 clear days before the day on which the meeting is to be held, and

(b)every clerk in Holy Orders who would be entitled to attend the annual meeting if it were to be held on the day on which the extraordinary meeting is to be held.]

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