Annual Parochial Church Meeting
The Annual Meeting of Parishioners (AMP) and Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) will be held on October 18th.
Did you really say ‘I am going to be on the PCC’: that’s fantastic!
BUT (there’s always a but) ‘What am I expected to do?’
That’s a good question – you will be part of something that is vital to the health of the Church, the welfare of our community and the mission of God – so no pressure.
In the long history of the Church of England, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) is a relatively recent invention. Until the early years of the 20th century the administration and finances of a parish were the legal responsibility of the vicar and the churchwardens. The members of congregations had little say in the running of the church except in electing the churchwardens. PCCs were first given legal status in 1919. The PCC is established by the law called Parochial Church Council (Powers) Measure 1956 and so has legal powers and responsibilities and these are set out in the Church Representation Rules. The Church of England is not renowned for plain English but you will get used to the unfamiliar legalese and ‘churchy’ speak given time.
Anyone can be a PCC person. It helps if you can turn up to every meeting (not always possible), be prepared before a meeting (should be possible) and come to the meeting for a good time (must be possible?). As a willing volunteer you can serve in whatever way you feel able but you are not expected to be at church meetings every night of the week!
The PCC desperately needs people - the more the merrier - many hands make light work. In my experience on the PCC and as Churchwarden it takes all sorts - God speaks to us in unexpected ways so the youngest and newest members have as much to offer as the oldest and wisest. You don’t have to be an expert but you do have to be over 16, have been on the electoral roll for six months prior to election and be an actual communicant member of the church (one of those technical ’churchy’ terms best looked up on the internet for the full definition ) and of course want to be part of the madness!
Joining the PCC can be a bit daunting especially if you have never really understood what the PCC does or what is expected of a ‘volunteer’. There are no silly questions – just ask and I will be happy to try and answer them.
WHAT IS A PCC NOT?
PCC is not a dictatorship or a democracy but a theocracy, somewhere God is King.
It is not inward focusing, backward looking or downbeat. It’s not a battlefield, trial or ordeal, and is not trying to stop anything, tear down or divide. The PCC is not isolated from its parish or from the wider church.
SO WHAT DOES A PCC DO?
PCC is there to listen and debate so they can seek and hear God’s wisdom even in complicated situations and this ensures that the church is well led and everyone is represented.
Co-operation is the main task of the PCC thereby promoting in the parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical. Trying not to get bogged down in the
day-to-day stuff is the tricky bit whilst prayerfully planning to take the lead spreading the good news of Jesus in our parish.
The PCC meets 6 times a year to discuss matters of general concern and importance to the parish. PCC meetings go on forever, are boring and end up in an argument – just joking! (this doesn’t happen). Practically the PCC is quite large so sub-committees are the ‘work horses’.
I know ‘I don’t do committees either’ but it’s just a mini team of superheroes getting the job done and most people can find two teams they are interested in and want to support.
Top tip - offer to do things no one else wants to do – it is often fun and keeps you serving God rather than doing church politics!
Best kept secret of the PCC – don’t tell anyone I’ve told you about your new privileged position - being on the loo cleaning rota
THANK YOU FOR JOINING THE PCC (in anticipation)
Don’t forget to let Mary Harwood or the Vicar know that you are intending to join the PCC - for the paperwork.
If you really haven’t quite made up your mind and want to find out more-
The PCC Member's Essential Guide by Mark Tanner(ISBN: 9780715110935)
At the APCM on Sunday 18th October we will have 12 vacancies for the PCC and four vacancies for the Deanery Synod. Please give this your prayerful consideration. The APCM will be held in the church, following the 10 a.m. service.
To be a member of the PCC you must be:
- At least sixteen years of age
- Actual communicants
- On the Electoral Roll of this Parish for at least six months
You need to be on the Electoral Register to attend and vote at the APCM.
Tracy Perrett is our Electoral Roll officer. Please contact her if you would like your name added to the register.
If you wish to stand for nomination to the PCC, or if you wish to nominate a candidate (with their prior consent) please contact the PCC Secretary. Candidate details, when known, will be published in the weekly newsletter.