Diocese of ChichesterDiocese of Chichester

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Parochial Church Council

Electoral Roll 2019

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.

Parishes must:

  • 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:
Christopher.Wallace-Tarry@Chichester.Anglican.Org .

What is a PCC?

A parochial church council (PCC) is the executive committee of a Church of England parish. Legally the council is responsible for the financial affairs of the church parish and the maintenance of its assets, such as churches and church halls, but the council also acts as a focus for church affairs in the parish.

Powers and duties

Two Acts of Parliament define the powers and duties of PCCs. The Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956, as amended, defines the principal functions and purpose of the PCC, which is the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent (rector, vicar or priest) or priest in charge in promoting the mission of the Church in its parish. Section 6 of the Synodical Government Measure 1969 (No. 2) Act amended the list of PCC functions originally in Section 2 of the 1956 Act.

Part II of the Church Representation Rules, contained in Schedule 3 to the Synodical Government Measure 1969 (No. 2), states how a PCC should be constituted. A PCC consists of the clergy and churchwardens of the parish, together with a number of representatives of the laity elected at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting by means of being nominated and seconded at the meeting, and also being listed on the parish roll for at least six months. The incumbent is the chairman of the PCC and a lay member is appointed vice-chairman. The PCC must meet at least four times a year.

The PCC is responsible for the financial affairs of the church and the care and maintenance of the church fabric and its contents, including demanding chancel repair liability from local inhabitants. These latter responsibilities are executed by churchwardens or other volunteers. It also has a voice in the forms of service used by the church and may make representations to the bishop and deanery synod on matters affecting the welfare and pastoral care of the parish

Many parish post-holders are appointed by the PCC such as sidesperson, child protection representative, treasurer, chalice bearers and sacristan. Churchwardens are elected at a meeting of parishioners held pursuant to the Churchwardens Measure 2001 (No. 1) and are ex-officio members of the PCC and its standing committee.

Charitable status

A PCC is always a charity. Since 2008 under the Charity Commission's The Excepted Church Charity Programme, only PCCs with a gross income of over £100,000 are required to register with the Charity Commission. The members of all PCCs, whether registered or not, are trustees.


PCCs were set up in 1921 by the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1921 Act as a successor to the vestries or Vestry Meetings, which had had their civil functions removed during the nineteenth century in numerous acts, concluding in 1894 with the establishment of civil parishes. The subsequent 1956 and 1969 Acts now govern the establishment and function of PCCs.