Parish Information and the PCC
This section will be of particular interest to Churchwardens, PCC Secretaries, members of PCCs and others. Use the menu to have a look through the pages available. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, have a look in the rest of our ‘For Parishes’ section or use the search function.
What is the Parochial Church Council (PCC)
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is the body that, with the minister, steers the life of the church in its mission, witness and service in the parish.
The role of the PCC
The PCC’s role is governed by law (the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956) which says:
(1) It shall be the duty of the minister and the parochial church council to consult together on matters of general concern and importance to the parish.
(2) The functions of parochial church councils shall include—
(a) co-operation with the minister in promoting in the parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical;
(b) 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;
(c) 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;
(d) giving advice to the diocesan synod and the deanery synod on any matter referred to the council; (e) raising such matters as the council consider appropriate with the diocesan synod or deanery synod.
(3) In the exercise of its functions the parochial church council shall take into consideration any expression of opinion by any parochial church meeting.
Full text of this Measure is available here:
The PCC is a charitable trust
PCC members are charitable trustees, and so all the provisions of charity law apply to their corporate responsibilities, financial management and decision making. This is true whether or not the charity is registered with the Charity Commissioners. You cannot be a PCC member if by law you are not permitted to be a trustee.
Formal advice on the legal position of PCC members is available here.
The PCC is required to return certain information to the Diocese each year
Various statistics are essential to the ongoing care and understanding of our churches and congregations and are actively used both nationally and locally in shaping the support of mission and growth. Further information can be found here:
Serious incidents reporting
All PCCs (as charitable bodies) and their trustees are required to report any serious Incidents, both safeguarding and non-safeguarding, to the Charity Commission.
Following recent high-profile safeguarding-related incidents in the charity sector, the Charity Commission updated its guidance on Serious Incident Reporting in October 2018, with a particular focus on the reporting of SAFEGUARDING Serious Incidents.
For further information, please visit the Parish Resources website.
The PCC relates to other bodies in the Church of England
The PCC receives matters raised by synods of the Church of England and can feed into synodical discussions. Although it is a separate legal entity, the PCC is bound by national church rules which have the force of law on matters such as worship, ministry, church buildings and property, safeguarding.
Being elected to the PCC
A person is eligible for election to the PCC by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting if:
(a) his/her name has been on the Electoral Roll of the parish for at least the preceding six months (unless under the age of 18 at the date of the election);
(b) he/she is an actual communicant (receiving Communion at least three times in the previous 12 months) Because of their responsibilities, PCC members will be expected to attend Safeguarding training. You cannot be a PCC member if convicted of a specified safeguarding offence or included in a barred list.
See the Safeguarding section on our diocesan website here.