Parochial Church Council
The rights and duties of Holy Trinity PCC, and of all PCC members, are set out in detail in ‘The Church Representation Rules’, which you can access online. Being a member of the PCC at Holy Trinity is a service. Like any Christian service, it can be immensely rewarding but can also have moments of lengthy discussion. In short, there are two key duties that fall to the PCC:
- Supporting the mission and ministry of the vicar of Holy Trinity church and more generally
- Taking overall responsibility for the financial management of the church.
The Anglican Context
We are an Anglican church. That means that the way we are governed is ordered by law, and rooted in custom and practice that goes back many hundreds of years, even though brought up to date by successive revisions. So the incumbent (the vicar), the Churchwardens and PCC members have separate and distinct rights, duties and responsibilities. In turn the vicar has duties to the diocesan Bishop, who delegates charge to the vicar.
There are some things that the PCC can arrange themselves, for instance where the law is silent or allows alternative approaches; in other cases the PCC cannot make changes, for instance we cannot change the duties of Churchwardens or of the vicar.
Within the Anglican structure, parishes are organised locally into deaneries, and deaneries into dioceses. Every three years candidates are elected onto our local (Weymouth and Portland) deanery synod which meets at least twice per year. By church law Deanery Synod representatives are automatically entitled to PCC membership. So those considering standing for Deanery Synod should consult both the PCC guidelines and separate ones covering the Deanery Synod role
PCC members are also trustees, which entails various responsibilities under charity law.
Under both Anglican and Charities Law PCC members have hugely important leadership roles within the church. PCC members are required and expected to work together to follow a Christ-centred agenda, and are expected individually to model the biblical principles of discipleship and servant leadership and to take an active role within the church.
The PCC is required to meet not less than four times per year. Dates are normally set and advised at the start of each calendar year.
Certain routine business and authority is delegated to a Standing Committee, comprising the incumbent, two churchwardens, treasurer and PCC secretary appointed annually by the PCC. The Standing committee often deal with more immediate and specific issues that may arise between PCC meetings. This is intended to allow the PCC as a whole to concentrate on broader, strategic matters – of policy and direction rather than operational detail.
Officers with special responsibilities (secretary, treasurer and lay vice-chair) are elected annually.
Anyone on the electoral roll, provided they are not barred from becoming a charity trustee, is eligible to stand for election. We follow best practice in relation to Safeguarding and this may involve PCC members being asked to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service certificate. We like to have a fair representation of the life of the church – by age and gender, with differing experiences as Christians in the community and workplace.