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Synodical Government Measure 1969

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Changes over time for: Section B: Parochial church council

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Changes to legislation:

Synodical Government Measure 1969, Section B: Parochial church council is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 14 May 2021. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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[F1Section B: Parochial church councilE

Textual Amendments

MembershipE
MembersE

M15(1)The members of the PCC are—E

(a)every clerk in Holy Orders who is beneficed in or licensed to the parish,

(b)any clerk in Holy Orders who is authorised to chair meetings of the PCC under Rule M26,

(c)any deaconess or lay worker licensed to the parish,

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

(e)the churchwardens of the parish,

(f)any person chosen as a churchwarden of the parish but not yet admitted to office as such,

(g)any deputy churchwarden who is an ex officio member under a scheme under Rule M34 or M35,

(h)if the annual meeting decides that one or more of the readers licensed to the parish or to an area including the parish whose names are on the roll of the parish should be members, the reader or readers in question,

(i)every person whose name is on the roll of the parish and who is a lay member of a deanery synod, a diocesan synod or the General Synod,

(j)the elected representatives of the laity, with the number being determined under paragraphs (8) and (9), and

(k)any clerk in Holy Orders, or any actual communicant aged 16 or over, whom the PCC decides to co-opt as a member, with the number being determined under paragraph (10).

(2)A clerk in Holy Orders (other than the minister) is not eligible for membership under paragraph (1)(a) or (d) if, were he or she to become a member, the number of clerical members would equal or exceed the number of lay members.

(3)Where there are two or more clerks in Holy Orders who (but for this paragraph) would become eligible under paragraph (1)(a) or (d) on the same day, paragraph (2) applies to each of those clerks taken together; and, accordingly, in a case within paragraph (2), none of them are eligible for membership under paragraph (1)(a) or (d) (as the case may be).

(4)A person is eligible for membership under paragraph (1)(e), (f) or (g) only if the person is an actual communicant whose name is on the roll of the parish.

(5)For the purposes of paragraph (1)(i), a lay member of a deanery synod who is a parochial representative elected by the annual meeting of the parish is eligible only for membership of the PCC for the parish, even if the person's name is on the roll of one or more other parishes.

(6)For the purposes of paragraph (1)(i), a lay member of a deanery synod who is a member of the synod otherwise than by virtue of election as a parochial representative and whose name is on the roll of the parish and on the roll of one or more other parishes—

(a)must choose one of the parishes concerned, and

(b)is accordingly eligible only for membership of the PCC for the parish if it is the parish which he or she chooses.

(7)For the purposes of paragraph (1)(i), a lay member of a diocesan synod or a member of the House of Laity of the General Synod whose name is on the roll of the parish and on the roll of one or more other parishes—

(a)must choose one of the parishes concerned, and

(b)is accordingly eligible only for membership of the PCC for the parish if it is the parish which he or she chooses.

(8)The number of representatives of the laity for the purposes of paragraph (1)(j) is—

(a)if there are no more than 50 names on the roll, six;

(b)if there are more than 50 but no more than 100, nine;

(c)if there are more than 100, a further three per hundred names and, where the number of names on the roll is not divisible by 100 without fraction or remainder, for the fraction or remainder, up to a maximum of 15.

(9)The annual meeting may by resolution vary the number of representatives there would otherwise be for the parish under paragraph (8); but a resolution under this paragraph does not take effect before the next annual meeting.

(10)The number of members under paragraph (1)(k) is either two or any greater number which does not exceed one-fifth of the number of members under paragraph (1)(j).

(11)A person whose name is removed from the roll of the parish on a revision under Rule 4 ceases to be a member of the PCC on the date on which the revised roll is completed.

(12)A person who does not make a fresh application for enrolment when a new roll of the parish is being prepared ceases to be a member of the PCC on the date on which the new roll is completed.

(13)A person who is or becomes disqualified as a member of the PCC (whether under Part 7 or otherwise) ceases to be a member on the date on which the disqualification takes effect.

(14)In a case within paragraph (11) or (12), the PCC may nonetheless co-opt the person concerned as a member under paragraph (1)(k).

Term of office: representatives of the laityE

M16(1)A person who is a member of the PCC under Rule M15(1)(j) (representatives of laity) holds office as such for a period which—E

(a)begins with the conclusion of the annual meeting at which the person was elected as a representative of the laity, and

(b)ends with the conclusion of the third subsequent annual meeting.

(2)But the annual meeting may, despite paragraph (1)(b), decide that the members under Rule M15(1)(j) are to retire at the conclusion of the annual meeting following their election.

(3)A decision under paragraph (2) does not affect the term of office of a member due to retire from the PCC at the conclusion of the annual meeting held after the one at which the decision was taken.

(4)A decision under paragraph (2) must be reviewed by the annual meeting at least once every six years; and if, on the review, the annual meeting revokes the decision, paragraph (1) applies unless and until a further decision is taken under paragraph (2).

(5)Where a decision is not taken under paragraph (2), one-third of the members under Rule M15(1)(j) are to retire and be elected each year; but at an annual meeting at which more than one-third of the members under Rule M15(1)(j) are elected, lots are drawn to decide which third is to retire in the first year after that meeting, which third in the second year and which third in the third year.

(6)A member under Rule M15(1)(j) is, subject to paragraphs (7) and (8), eligible on retirement for re-election.

(7)The annual meeting may decide that nobody who is a member under Rule M15(1)(j) may hold office as such after the date of the meeting for a continuous period which exceeds whatever number of years the annual meeting decides.

(8)The annual meeting may also decide that a person who, as a result of a decision under paragraph (7), has ceased to be eligible to be a member under Rule M15(1)(j) may, after such interval as the annual meeting decides, again stand for election as a representative of the laity.

(9)Where a member under Rule M15(1)(j) resigns or otherwise fails to serve the full term of office, the casual vacancy is to be filled for the remainder of the term in accordance with Rule M18.

(10)A reference in this Rule to the conclusion of an annual meeting is, in a case where an election held at the meeting also involves postal voting, to be read as a reference to the declaration of the result of the election.

Term of office: other casesE

M17(1)A person who is a member of the PCC under Rule M15(1)(f) (churchwarden elect) holds office as such for the period which—E

(a)begins when the person is chosen as churchwarden, and

(b)ends when the person is admitted to the office of churchwarden (at which point the person continues as a member, holding office as such under Rule M15(1)(e)).

(2)A person who is a member of the PCC under Rule M15(1)(h) (readers) holds office as such for the period which—

(a)begins with the conclusion of the annual meeting at which it was decided that the person should be a member, and

(b)ends with the conclusion of the next annual meeting, unless it is decided at that meeting that the person should continue to be a member.

(3)A person who is a member of the PCC under Rule M15(1)(i) as an elected lay member of a deanery synod holds office as a member of the PCC for the period which—

(a)begins with the date of election, and

(b)ends with the next 30 June following the annual meeting at which elections of parochial representatives of the laity to the deanery synod are required to be held under Rule M6(1)(a).

[F2(4)A person who is a member of the PCC under Rule M15(1)(k) (co-opted members) holds office as such for the period which—

(a)begins when the decision to co-opt the person as a member takes effect, and

(b)ends with the conclusion of the next annual meeting.

(5)Paragraph (4)(b) does not prevent the person being co-opted on subsequent occasions for a similar term.]

Textual Amendments

Casual vacanciesE

M18(1)A casual vacancy among the parochial representatives elected to a PCC must be filled as soon as practicable after the vacancy occurs.E

(2)Where the annual meeting is not due to be held within the two months following the occurrence of the vacancy, the vacancy may be filled by the election by the PCC of a person qualified to be elected as a parochial representative.

OfficersE
Chair and vice-chairE

M19(1)The minister is the chair of the PCC.E

(2)The PCC must elect a lay member as vice-chair; and the vice-chair acts as chair and accordingly has the powers vested in the chair—

(a)where there is no minister,

(b)where the minister is absent or unable to act for some other reason, or

(c)where the minister invites the vice-chair to act as chair.

(3)Where a special cure of souls in respect of the parish has been assigned to a vicar in a team ministry or a special responsibility for pastoral care in respect of the parish has been assigned to a member of the team under section 34(8) of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011—

(a)the vicar or team member in question is to be treated as the minister for the purposes of this Rule, or

(b)if the vicar or team member is absent or incapacitated by illness or for some other reason, the rector in the team ministry is to be treated as the minister for those purposes.

Secretary and treasurerE

M20(1)The PCC may appoint one of its members as secretary; but if it does not, it must appoint some other fit person.E

(2)The secretary has the following functions—

(a)to have charge of all the documents relating to the current business of the PCC other than the roll of the parish (unless the secretary is also the electoral roll officer);

(b)to keep the minutes;

(c)to record all resolutions passed;

(d)to notify his or her name and address to the secretary of the deanery synod and the secretary of the diocesan synod.

(3)The PCC may appoint one of its members as treasurer or two or more of its members as joint treasurers; but if it does not, it must—

(a)arrange for the office of treasurer to be discharged by such of the churchwardens as are members of the PCC or, if only one of them is a member, by that one solely, or

(b)appoint some other fit person.

(4)Where the person appointed as secretary or treasurer is not a member of the PCC, he or she does not become a member merely as a result of holding the office in question but may be co-opted under Rule M15(1)(k).

Electoral roll officerE

M21(1)The PCC must appoint a person as electoral roll officer to act under its direction for the purpose of carrying out its functions with regard to the roll of the parish.E

(2)The electoral roll officer accordingly has charge of the roll of the parish and must keep it up to date in accordance with these Rules.

(3)The person appointed under paragraph (1) need not be a member of the PCC and may also be the secretary.

Independent examiner or auditorE

M22(1)If the annual meeting does not appoint an independent examiner or auditor to the PCC, or the person appointed is unable or unwilling to act, the PCC must appoint some other fit person.E

(2)A person appointed under paragraph (1) must not be a member of the PCC.

(3)Paragraphs (4) and (5) of Rule M6 (eligibility for appointment as independent examiner or auditor) apply to an appointment under paragraph (1) of this Rule as they apply to an appointment under paragraph (2) of that Rule.

(4)The term of office of a person appointed under paragraph (1) ends at the conclusion of the next annual meeting.

(5)It is for the PCC to pay the remuneration of a person appointed under paragraph (1).

BusinessE
Meetings: time and placeE

M23(1)Each year, the PCC must hold a sufficient number of meetings to enable the efficient transaction of its business.E

(2)The chair must convene each of those meetings.

(3)The chair may at any other time convene a meeting of the PCC; but if the chair does not do so within seven days of receiving a demand for such a meeting signed by at least one-third of the members of the PCC, those members may themselves immediately convene a meeting.

(4)A meeting of the PCC is to be held at such place as the PCC directs or, in the absence of such a direction, as the chair directs.

Meetings: attendanceE

M24(1)A person is entitled to attend a meeting of the PCC only if—E

(a)the person is a member of the PCC, or

(b)where the parish is in the area of a group ministry, the person is entitled to do so under paragraph (2).

(2)Where the parish is in the area of a group ministry, each of the following persons is entitled to attend a meeting of the PCC—

(a)every incumbent of a benefice in the group,

(b)every priest in charge of a benefice in the group, and

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

(3)A person who is entitled under paragraph (2) to attend a meeting of the PCC—

(a)is entitled to receive documents circulated to the members of the PCC, and

(b)is entitled to speak at the meeting, but

(c)is not entitled to vote at the meeting.

(4)The PCC may invite such other persons to attend its meetings as it wishes.

Meetings: noticeE

M25(1)At least ten clear days before a meeting of the PCC (other than one convened under paragraph (8)), notice of the meeting must be displayed—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)A notice under paragraph (1) must—

(a)specify the time and place of the meeting, and

(b)be signed by or on behalf of the chair or other persons convening the meeting.

(3)At least seven clear days before a meeting of the PCC (other than one convened under paragraph (8)), notice of the meeting must be given to—

(a)each member of the PCC,

(b)where the parish is in the area of a group ministry, each person entitled to attend the meeting under Rule M24(2), and

(c)each person whom the PCC has invited to the meeting under Rule M24(4).

(4)A notice under paragraph (3) must—

(a)specify the time and place of the meeting,

(b)be signed by or on behalf of the secretary, and

(c)contain the agenda of the meeting, including any motions or other business proposed by members of which the secretary has received notice.

(5)But in the case of a meeting of the PCC which immediately follows the annual meeting and which has been called only for the purpose of appointing or electing officers of the PCC or the members of the standing committee, notice is not required under paragraph (3) if it has been given under paragraph (1).

(6)If the chair, vice-chair and secretary, or any two of them, consider for some good and sufficient reason that a meeting of the PCC which has been convened should be postponed, each member of the PCC and each person specified in Rule M24(2) must be given—

(a)notice that the meeting has been postponed, and

(b)notice specifying the time and place of the reconvened meeting.

(7)A notice under paragraph (6)(b) must be given before the end of 14 days beginning with the date for which the meeting had been convened.

(8)In the event of a sudden emergency or other special circumstances requiring immediate action by the PCC, the chair may convene a meeting by giving every member whatever written notice is practicable.

Meetings: chairE

M26(1)The chair at a meeting of the PCC (other than an extraordinary meeting under Rule M33) is—E

(a)the chair of the PCC, or

(b)if the chair is not present, the vice-chair of the PCC, or

(c)if nobody is available under sub-paragraph (a) or (b) (whether to chair the whole meeting or particular items on the agenda), a person chosen by and from the members of the PCC.

(2)Where a clerk in Holy Orders who is licensed to officiate in the parish or has permission to do so is authorised by the bishop to act as the chair of the PCC—

(a)that clerk is to be the chair of the PCC for the meeting if the chair of the PCC is absent, and

(b)the references in paragraph (1) to the chair are accordingly to be read as references to that clerk.

(3)An authorisation of the kind mentioned in paragraph (2) may be given only if—

(a)the clerk in question agrees, and

(b)an application is made by the minister and PCC jointly or, where the benefice is vacant, by the PCC alone.

(4)The chair at a meeting of the PCC must vacate the chair, either generally or for the purposes of any business in which he or she has a personal interest or any other particular business, if—

(a)the chair thinks it appropriate to do so, or

(b)the meeting so resolves with the agreement of the archdeacon.

Meetings: procedureE

M27(1)The quorum for a meeting of the PCC is (subject to paragraph (2))—E

(a)one-third of its members, or

(b)in the case of a meeting convened under Rule M25(8) (emergency etc.), a majority of its members.

(2)A meeting of the PCC is quorate only if the majority of the members present are lay persons.

(3)Business which is not specified in the agenda for a meeting of the PCC may not be transacted at the meeting except with the consent of at least three-quarters of the members present; and at a meeting convened under Rule M25(8), the only business which may be transacted is that specified in the notice convening the meeting.

(4)Business at a meeting of the PCC is decided by a majority of the members present and voting.

(5)In the case of an equality of votes at a meeting of the PCC, the chair has a second, casting vote.

(6)A meeting of the PCC may adjourn its proceedings to such time and place as the meeting may decide.

Meetings: minutesE

M28(1)The minutes of each meeting of the PCC must record the name of each member present at the meeting and any other person attending.E

(2)If one-fifth of the members of the PCC present and voting on a resolution so require, the minutes must record the name of each member voting for the resolution and the name of each member voting against.

(3)A member of the PCC may require the minutes to record how he or she voted on a particular resolution.

(4)Each member of the PCC, and any person entitled to attend meetings of the PCC under Rule M24(2), is entitled to have access to the minutes of the meetings of the PCC.

(5)Each of the following persons is entitled to have access to the approved minutes of meetings of the PCC without the authority of the PCC—

(a)the independent examiner or auditor of the PCC's financial statements,

(b)the bishop,

(c)the archdeacon, and

(d)any person authorised in writing by a person mentioned in sub-paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

(6)Any other person whose name is on the roll of the parish is entitled to have access to the approved minutes of meetings of the PCC held after the annual meeting in 1995, except any minutes which the PCC regards as confidential.

(7)Other persons may have access to the minutes of the meetings of the PCC only in accordance with a specific authorisation from the PCC; but, where minutes have been deposited in the diocesan record office under the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978, the need for that authorisation may be dispensed with by the chief officer of that office.

Business by correspondenceE

M29(1)The chair of the PCC may, if he or she considers that any business can properly be conducted by correspondence, instruct the secretary of the PCC to send proposals requiring the approval of members to—E

(a)each member of the PCC, and

(b)any person entitled to attend the meetings of the PCC under Rule M24(2).

(2)Unless objection to the proposals is received from members in such numbers and within such period from the date of their being sent as the chair of the PCC may specify, the proposals are to be treated at the end of that period as approved by the PCC as if they had been approved at a duly convened meeting.

(3)Where proposals are circulated under this Rule for approval, the secretary must report to the next meeting of the PCC—

(a)whether the proposals were approved, and

(b)if objections to the proposals were received, the number of members from whom they were received.

Audit of financial statementsE

M30(1)The independent examiner or auditor of the PCC's financial statements—E

(a)is entitled to have access to books, documents or other records (however kept) which relate to the financial statements;

(b)may require information and explanations from past or present treasurers or members of the PCC.

(2)If a person fails to comply with a requirement under paragraph (1)(b), the independent examiner or auditor may apply to the Charity Commission for an order for directions under section 155 of the Charities Act 2011.

Standing committeeE

M31(1)The PCC has a standing committee constituted in accordance with this Rule.E

(2)If there are more than 50 names on the roll of the parish on the date on which the annual meeting is held, the standing committee is to consist of—

(a)the minister,

(b)each churchwarden who is a member of the PCC or, if there are more than two, such two or more of them as are appointed by the PCC by resolution, and

(c)at least two other members of the PCC appointed by the PCC by resolution, the number of whom must be at least equal to the number of churchwardens who are members of the committee under sub-paragraph (b).

(3)If there are no more than 50 names on the roll of the parish on the date on which the annual meeting is held, the standing committee is to consist of—

(a)the minister, and

(b)at least two other members of the PCC (each of whom may, but need not, be a churchwarden) appointed by the PCC by resolution.

(4)The PCC may by resolution remove a person appointed under paragraph (2)(b) or (c) or (3)(b).

(5)A member appointed under paragraph (2)(b) or (c) or (3)(b) holds office for a period which begins with the date of appointment and ends with the conclusion of the next annual meeting (subject to the possibility of the member's removal under paragraph (4)).

(6)The standing committee may transact the PCC's business between meetings of the PCC; but the standing committee—

(a)may not discharge a duty of the PCC, and

(b)may not exercise a power of the PCC which is subject to the passing of a resolution by the PCC or compliance by the PCC with some other requirement.

(7)If the PCC gives the standing committee any directions as to the exercise of its power under paragraph (6), the committee must exercise the power in accordance with those directions.

Other committeesE

M32(1)The PCC may appoint committees for the various branches of church work in the parish; and the members of a committee appointed under this Rule may include persons who are not members of the PCC.E

(2)The minister is entitled to be an ex officio member of each committee appointed under this Rule.

Extraordinary meetingsE

M33(1)Where a written representation is made for the purposes of Rule M14, the archdeacon or bishop must, if he or she does not convene an extraordinary parochial church meeting under that Rule, convene an extraordinary meeting of the PCC under this Rule.E

(2)At a meeting convened under this Rule, the archdeacon or bishop must either take the chair or appoint a person to do so.

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

SchemesE
Parish with more than one place of worship: election of representatives of laityE

M34(1)If there are in the parish two or more churches or buildings licensed for public worship, the annual meeting may make a scheme for the election of representatives of the laity to the PCC in a way that is intended to make due provision for the representation of the congregation of each church or building.E

(2)A scheme under this Rule may provide for—

(a)the election or choice of one or two deputy churchwardens,

(b)the delegation by the churchwardens to the deputy or deputies of such functions relating to a church or building licensed for public worship as are specified in the scheme, and

(c)the deputy or each of the deputies to be an ex officio member of the PCC.

(3)A scheme under this Rule may include provision under Rule M35.

(4)A scheme under this Rule comes into operation on the day specified in the scheme.

(5)Where a scheme is made under this Rule, a copy of the scheme—

(a)must be filed in the diocesan registry, and

(b)must be sent to the secretary of the bishop's council and standing committee.

(6)This Rule does not affect the appointment, in parishes with more than one parish church, of two churchwardens for each church under section 1(2)(a) of the Churchwardens Measure 2001.

Parish with more than one place of worship: district church councilE

M35(1)If there are in the parish two or more churches or buildings licensed for public worship, the annual meeting may make a scheme for—E

(a)the establishment of a body called a “district church council”, the purpose of which is to carry out in relation to a specified district in the parish in which there is at least one church or building licensed for public worship such functions of the PCC as are delegated to it, and

(b)the election by the annual meeting of the district of representatives of the laity to the district church council.

(2)A scheme under this Rule must include provision for—

(a)ex officio membership of the district church council, and

(b)the chairing of the council.

(3)A scheme under this Rule may include provision delegating to the district church council such functions of the PCC as are specified in the scheme.

(4)Where there is a scheme under this Rule, the PCC may, subject to the provisions of the scheme, delegate one or more of its functions to the district church council.

(5)But none of the following functions may be delegated under paragraph (3) or (4)—

(a)functions relating to producing the financial statements of the parish;

(b)functions under Part 2 of the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986 (exercise of rights of presentation);

(c)functions as an interested party under Part 3 of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 (pastoral schemes etc.).

(6)Where a scheme under this Rule is in operation, the PCC may exercise a function delegated to the district church council under paragraph (3) or (4) despite the delegation.

(7)A scheme under this Rule may provide for—

(a)the election or choice of one or two deputy churchwardens,

(b)the delegation by the churchwardens to the deputy or deputies of such functions relating to a church or building licensed for public worship as are specified in the scheme, and

(c)the deputy or each of the deputies to be an ex officio member of the PCC.

(8)A scheme under this Rule may include provision under Rule M34.

(9)A scheme under this Rule comes into operation on the day specified in the scheme.

(10)Where a scheme is made under this Rule, a copy of the scheme—

(a)must be filed in the diocesan registry, and

(b)must be sent to the secretary of the bishop's council and standing committee.

(11)If the parish is in the area of a benefice for which there is a team ministry, each member of the team may attend the meetings of a district church council elected for a district in the parish.

(12)This Rule does not affect the appointment, in parishes with more than one parish church, of two churchwardens for each church under section 1(2)(a) of the Churchwardens Measure 2001.

District church council: disqualificationE

M36(1)The provisions of these Rules on disqualification from being nominated, chosen or elected as, or from serving as, a member of the PCC apply also in relation to membership of a district church council established by a scheme under Rule M35 which applies to the parish.E

(2)Any enactment providing for the disqualification of a person from being a trustee of a charity and, accordingly, from being a member of the PCC also has the effect of disqualifying the person from being a member of the district church council.]

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