Parochial Church Council's
STILTON GROUP OF CHURCHES
PAROCHAIL CHURCH COUNCILS (PCC's)
In the long history of the Church of England, the Parochial Church Council 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 incumbent and the churchwardens.
The members of congregations had little say in the running of the church except in electing the churchwardens.
Parochial Church Councils were first given legal status in 1919. Since then a number of Acts have defined and refined the composition, functions and rights and responsibilities of the PCC.
WHAT IS THE TASK OF THE PCC?
The Synodical Government Measure 1969 states it clearly:
It shall be the duty of the incumbent and the parochial church council to consult together on matters of general concern and importance to the parish.
The functions of parochial church councils shall include -
Co-operation with the incumbent in promoting in the parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical
The consideration and discussions of matters concerning the Church of England or any other matters of religious or public interest, but not the declaration of the doctrine of the Church on any question
Making known and putting into effect any provision made by the diocesan synod or the deanery synod, but without prejudice to the powers of the council on any particular matter
Giving advice to the diocesan synod and the deanery synod on any matter referred to to the council
Raising such matters as the council consider appropriate with the diocesan synod or deanery synod
In the exercise of its functions the parochial church council shall take into consideration any expression of opinion by any parochial church meeting
More specifically, the PCC is responsible for the maintenance of the church buildings and churchyard, and, with the incumbent, for deciding how the church's money is to be spent.
The PCC is formally the employer of the church's paid workers. The PCC has the right to be consulted about major changes to the forms of worship used in the parish and about the appointment of a new incumbent.
The PCC has the right to be consulted about major changes to the forms of worship used in the parish and about the appointment of a new incumbent.
It is also consulted about any pastoral scheme affecting the parish.
The PCC will have on it one or more members of the deanery synod, who have an important role in linking the parish into the wider structures of the church.
COMMITTEES OF THE PCC
Dependant on the size of the required representation, and the given its wide responsibilities (pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical), the PCC on its own clearly cannot do everything that is needed in the parish.
Occassionally, it has a number of committees, each dealing with a particular aspect of parish life.
Each committee has at least one PCC member on it. These committees are formally responsible to the PCC, reporting back to it regularly and seeking its approval before making major changes or incurring significant costs.
The PCC should also provide strategic direction to the committees so they are reasonably joined up and all pulling in the same direction.
HOW DOES ONE BECOME A MEMBER OF THE PCC?
Stand still long enough! or, more seriously, by nomination and election at the Parish Annual Meeting when vacancies arise.
If you are interested in serving, the relevant PCC Secretary can advise on how many vacancies will arise in any particular year.
HOW CAN THEY BE CONTACTED?
Talk to them or ring them up! Nearly all the PCC Secretary's have e-mail addresses.
They will be delighted that you are taking an interest. If you have difficulty in contacting an individual, or if you want to address the PCC as a body, you should do so through the relevant PCC Secretary.