As you are aware, the Electoral Roll must be reviewed by parishes every year prior to the APCM. In addition to this, every 6th year after 2007, a new Roll must be prepared. 2019 will be such a year. This involves the existing roll becoming obsolete, and everyone needing to apply to have their name entered on the roll anew. This is laid out by the Church of England in Part I of the Church Representation Rules, available here.
We appreciate that this may seem a rather daunting administrative task in addition to the normal preparations for APCM, so to assist parishes here is a summary of the information parishes need to know with regards to preparing a new Electoral Roll and informing us at Church House of the result. The rules can be found in full by clicking the link above.
- Not less than 2 months before APCM, affix a notice at or near the main entrance of every church in the parish and every building in the parish licensed for public worship, in the format set out in the form here. This notice will serve to inform parish members of the upcoming new Electoral Roll preparation, and must remain in place for at least 14 days.
- Inform your congregation of the new Roll at every service on each of the 2 Sundays after affixing the notice. If no service is held on either of those two Sundays in one church, inform them at every service on the first Sunday when services are held.
- Take reasonable measures to make sure that each person present on the previous Roll knows that a new roll is being prepared, and that to be on the new Roll a person must submit a fresh application. This application form can be found here.
- Prepare the new Roll in the form of a list of the names of the persons entitled to entry. Where practicable, the Roll shall also include each person’s address. The Roll must be prepared during the period 15 to 28 days before the APCM.
- Publish the new Roll by displaying it on or near the main door of the parish church for at least 2 weeks before the APCM. Names only should be published, and not addresses. No names can be added or removed during this period, but errors and omissions can be corrected.
- Display a notice stating the number of people present on the new Roll at or near the main entrance of every church in the parish and every building in the parish licensed for public worship for at least 14 days. A form can be found here.
- Inform Church House of the number of people present on the new Electoral Roll by 1 June by filling in the online form.
Once again, the full rules can be found on the C of E website here. The full rules detail exceptions, conditions for entry on the Roll, and other information not summarised above. Note that only lay people can be on the Roll.
Any questions which can’t be answered by the information above can be directed to Chris Wallace-Tarry at Church House.