The Parochial Church Council, or PCC, is an executive committee of the parish with powers and duties defined by certain Acts of Parliament. The membership consists of the clergy and churchwardens of the parish, together with twelve representatives of the laity elected by the annual parochial church meeting of the parish. The PCC secretary and the treasurer are generally elected or co-opted from the PCC. In addition there are three ex-officio members who are the elected members of the Deanery Synod who report back after synod meetings. The PCC meets every four to five weeks, with the exception of December and August.
In addition to their formal duties, PCC members act as representatives for all parishioners in the affairs of the church. Apart from the vicar, who is ex-officio chairman, all PCC members are elected directly or indirectly by the parishioners.
Statement of PCC Members' Responsibilities
Charity law requires the PCC, as trustees of the church, to prepare an annual report and financial statements for each financial year. This should give a true and fair view of the church's financial activities during the year and of its financial position over the year. The PCC is also required to ensure that these are subjected to an annual independent examination or audit and to present these to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting in accordance with the Church Representation Rules.
The PCC has the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent in promoting in the ecclesiastical parish the whole mission of the church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical. Formally, the PCC is responsible for the financial affairs of the church and the care and maintenance of the church fabric and its contents. It also has a voice in the forms of service used by the church and may make representations to the bishop on matters affecting the welfare of the parish.
The PCC Committees
The PCC operates through committees, which meet between full meetings of the PCC. and feed back to the next full meeting. There is a Standing Committee to deal with urgent business and is the only committee required by law. It consists of the clergy, the churchwardens and the treasurer. Currently in addition there are eight specialist committees, each with its own designated responsibilities:
• The Charities and Links Committee is responsible for setting the annual programme of charitable grants, and for relating to the recipients. Our giving determines the amount of money available to this committee. It has been the commitment of the PCC for many years to give 10% of the church’s income for charitable purposes.
• The Church Growth Working Group has been tasked with coming up with ways to spend some of a large legacy of a former parishioner to grow the church.
• The Eco Committee is responsible for all aspects of the church’s green policy, looking at and keeping the church and church hall as environmentally friendly as possible and keeping environmental issues at the forefront of the church's mind. This includes reducing our carbon footprint, energy consumption, use of paper, and by encouraging people to walk to church or car share. Two members of this group also run the Fairtrade stall.
• The Music and Worship Committee is responsible for supporting and contributing to arrangements for music and worship. All matters relating to the choice and performance of music are discussed by the Music and Worship Committee. St James’s has a strong musical tradition and its current organist and choirmaster lead an enthusiastic choir, who both enhance our worship and will, in future, we hope, be an important element in our outreach to people in our community.
• The Planned Giving Committee meets when required and is responsible for developing, promoting and operating our Planned Giving scheme, our major source of income.
• The Properties Committee is responsible for the care and maintenance of all aspects of the parish’s properties; the church, the hall, the vicarage and those parts of the churchyard under our jurisdiction. Between the members there is considerable knowledge, experience and expertise.
• The Spire Committee produces nine issues of the parish magazine every year, writing, commissioning, designing and proofreading the copy. The cost of the magazine is paid for by the PCC, which sets an annual budget, but this is, in effect, largely offset by voluntary donations.The monthly parish magazine has undergone a redesign and is widely acclaimed as clear, accessible and informative.
• St James's Hospitality is the social committee, responsible for the weekly refreshments and parish breakfast on Sundays as well as other events, including St James’s Day and Harvest. It also provides refreshments for the services around Easter and Christmas.
The PCC and the parish also have representatives on a number of outside bodies, and a nominee on the Hampton Fuel Allotment Charity.
The Meeting of Parishioners for the Election of Churchwardens and the Annual Parochial Church Meeting
These must take place by April 30th each year and, at St James's, normally take place in the hall at 11.00, following Parish Communion. The business of the Meeting of Parishioners is to elect two churchwardens for the following year. All parishioners on either the church electoral roll or the civil Electoral Register can vote at this meeting. There then follows the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM). All on the church electoral roll can take part in and vote at this meeting. There are reports from the vicar, the treasurer and other officers of the Parochial Church Council, on the events of the last year.
At this meeting, five representatives to the Deanery Synod are elected for three years. The number of representatives depends on the number on the electoral roll. They become ex-officio members of the PCC. A further election for eleven ordinary members of the PCC is then held. Ordinary PCC members must be elected annually. From their number they elect the secretary and the treasurer. The ordinary members serve for up to three years, so some new members are elected each year along with those re-elected for a further year. An auditor of the PCC's accounts has to be appointed. The auditor must not be member of the PCC.
So there is an important legal aspect to the APCM. But there is also a key spiritual aspect to the APCM. We celebrate what God has done through us during the previous year. The APCM is always interesting and offers an opportunity for anyone on the electoral roll to voice opinions on the way the church has been or is being managed. Do come and support your church, your parish and your representatives.
Find out more
2017 APCM Agenda
2016 APCM Minutes
2017 APCM Reports
'How we work' through the years: PCC
PCC secretary: Nick Bagge on 020 8783 0871