The Parochial Church Council Powers Measure 1956 summarises the general functions of PCCs as follows:
It shall be the duty of the Minister and the Parochial Church Council to consult together on matters of general concern and importance to the parish.
The functions of the PCC shall include:
In the exercise of its functions, the PCC shall take into consideration any expression of opinion by any Parochial Church Meeting.
The PCC is known as a body corporate. This means that the Council has a legal identity quite separate from the individual members of which it is composed. However, the Council body is accountable for the decisions that it makes and therefore decisions need to be taken carefully showing fairness, respect for the law and be in line with the regulations of the Charity Commission. For this reason, the details of any far-reaching decision must always be prepared carefully in writing for every member of the PCC to have a chance to read and consider before it is finalised at the PCC meeting.
The PCC is also a charity by virtue of its objectives, which are essentially the advancement of religion and the making of provision of public worship. Members of the PCC are trustees of the charity and have to meet certain obligations required by charity law such as ensuring PCC funds and assets are used appropriately.
The Rules governing the conduct of PCCs are contained in the Church Representation Rules. Both these and the 1956 Measure have been much amended over the years. Key Rules governing the conduct of PCCs are as follows:
Number of meetings
PCCs must hold at least four meetings a year (as well as the Annual Meeting), spread evenly throughout the year.
A PCC is made up of all Licensed Clergy, Readers and Lay Workers in the Parish, Benefice or Team; the Churchwardens; any lay representatives on Deanery Synod, Diocesan Synod or General Synod who are on the electoral roll of the Parish; and a number of elected lay representatives whose names must appear on the electoral roll. The number of elected representatives a PCC can have is dependent on the size of the Electoral Roll.
The PCC can also decide to co-opt at least two additional members on to the PCC as long as this is not higher in number than one-fifth of the elected lay representatives on the Council. All co-opted members have to be either ordained or be lay communicants over sixteen years old. The number of elected lay members a parish can have on their PCC is dependant on the size of their electoral roll. For a roll of:
|Number on the Electoral Roll||Number of Elected Representatives|
|50 or under||6|
On this basis the number of elected lay members for North Curry is now 12, but as the roll has until recently been below 100 and there is difficulty filling vacancies the current aim is to have 9 elected members
Lay members hold office for three years and then retire but they are eligible for re-election on retirement. The annual meeting can specify a period beyond which no member of the laity can serve continuously through re-election and can specify the length of the interval before they can stand again for election to the PCC. It is usual for a third of the lay membership to retire every year.
A PCC is quorate, i.e. can conduct business, if a third of its current membership is present.
Three quarters of the members present at a meeting must consent to the transaction of any non-Agenda item of business.
This is decided by a simple majority of those members present and voting (the Chair has a second, or casting, vote if necessary).
If a meeting has to be postponed, PCC members must be given written notice of the date of the reconvened meeting within fourteen days of the postponed meeting.
Emergency meetings be convened by the Chair with at least three clear days' notice in writing. The quorum for such a meeting is a majority of PCC members and only business specified in the notice convening the meeting may be transacted.
The PCC must appoint a Standing Committee of at least five people (the Parish Priest (Curate) and Churchwardens are members ex-officio; the PCC must appoint at least another two PCC members. PCC Secretaries are usually expected to serve on the Standing Committee of the parish.).
The standing committee may be called for small ad hoc occasions when an urgent decision is required and when the PCC has given this smaller group their authority to act in a particular matter.
The PCC may appoint other committees (e.g. for Mission, Finance, Fabric, Worship, Stewardship, etc).
These notes have been compiled with reference to the two main legislative provisions called Measures governing the organisation and management of the Church of England and also draw on similar guidance published by a number of dioceses in England. They are for guidance only and not intended to be an authoritative statement of the law.
Please start giving some thought to your favourites. The Sunday worship at Stoke St Gregory on 18th July will be a combined “Songs of Praise” with the Baptist church. It will be outdoors and so we will be able to sing openly and without masks… O Joy! There will be a suggestion form in church in Lyng on 13th June and subsequently in Stoke St Gregory.
We are gathering tomorrow (13th June) for our monthly united benefice Eucharist. This month it is at St Bartholomew's, Lyng. Parking is available in the "Old Pub Carpark": thank you!
It is not fully formed, and there are some odd gaps but as of this week (10th June 2021) it is going live. Please be patient as we continue to develop it and add many more features. Thanks!