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APCMs and Electoral Roll

In response to COVID-19, APCMs not yet held should be suspended during the current situation, please follow the advice below:

1. The time for holding meetings of parishioners to choose churchwardens is extended to 31 October 2020.

2. The time for the admission of churchwardens is extended to 31 January 2021.

3. Existing 2019 churchwardens continue in office until 31 January 2021, unless re-admitted earlier or a successor is admitted earlier.

4. The period for holding APCMs is extended to 31 October 2020.

5. Existing 2017-20 lay members of deanery synod continue in office until 30 November 2020 even where their successors may have been elected at 2020 APCMs.

6. Deanery synod secretaries must provide the Diocesan office with names, addresses and emails of clergy and lay members (as per 5. above) asap and no later than 1 July 2020.

7. Unless the APCM has already been held, PCC members for 2019 will continue in office until the postponed 2020 APCM.

We would encourage parishes to submit returns by the 15 June date where 2019 financial statements have been prepared, audited or independently examined by that date, and as soon as possible after that. 

APCMs

 

The regulations surrounding eligibility to serve as a Churchwarden, PCC Member or Deanery Synod member have changed in the last twelve months following changes to the Church Representation Rules and the Churchwardens Measure (as a result of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016).  New versions of the nomination forms are available on the Parish Resources website at: www.parishresources.org.uk/pccs/apcms/. The page also includes a revised version of the 'Fit and Proper Persons' declaration which can be done to verify eligibility in place of using nomination form wording.

Annual Revision of the Electoral Roll 2020

Please see below the guidance as stated in the Church Representation Rules (2020) for the annual revision of the roll.  This covers what parishes must do in terms of notice, preparation and publication.  

Please note: it is still a legal requirement to report the updated number to the Diocesan Secretary, immediately following the APCM each year, to be received no later than 1 July of the relevant year. (Church Representation Rule 10). Please post certificates to: Electoral Roll, Diocesan Office St Nicholas Centre, 4, Cutler Street Ipswich IP1 1UQ.

Revision of the roll: notice (3)

(1)   The roll of a parish must be revised annually, except in a year in which a new roll is prepared (as to which, see rules 6 and 7).

(2)  Notice of the proposed revision must be given on Form 2 and displayed by or under the direction of the minister –

(a) in the case of the parish church or, where there is more than one church in the parish, each of those churches, on or near
the principal door, and

(b) in the case of each building in the parish licensed for public worship, in a location readily visible to members of the congregation.

(3)   The notice under paragraph (2) must remain on display for at least 14 days before the proposed revision begins.

(4)   In a case where the minister is absent or incapacitated by illness or for some other reason or where there is nobody who is the minister within the meaning of these Rules (see rule 83(1)), the minister’s function under this Rule is to be carried out by –

(a) the vice-chair of the PCC, or

(b) if there is not a vice-chair or the vice-chair is unable or unwilling to act, the secretary of the PCC or some other person appointed by the PCC.

Revision of the roll: preparation (4)    

(1)   On each revision of the roll of a parish –

(a) every addition to the roll since the previous revision (or, if there has not yet been a revision of the roll, since the formation of the roll) must be reviewed and any further additions must be made as necessary, and

(b) a person’s name must be removed from the roll in each of the following cases.

(2)   The first case is where the person has died.

(3)   The second case is where the person has become a clerk in Holy Orders.

(4)   The third case is where the person has stated in writing the wish to have his or her name removed.

(5)   The fourth case is where the person was not entitled to have his or her name entered on the roll at the time it was entered.

(6)   The fifth case is where the person –

(a) has ceased to reside in the parish,

(b) has not continued to habitually attend public worship in the parish during any period of six months, and

(c) has not been prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause.

(7)   The sixth case is where the person –

(a) is not resident in the parish,

(b) has not habitually attended public worship in the parish during the preceding six months, and

(c) has not been prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause.

(8)   The name of a person must not be removed from the roll in the fourth, fifth or sixth case unless the PCC has taken reasonable steps to establish the relevant facts.

(9)   The removal of a person’s name from the roll under these Rules does not affect any right the person may have, or may acquire, to have his or her name entered again.

(10) The revision of the roll of a parish must be completed at least 15 days, but no more than 28 days, before the annual parochial church meeting.

Publication of revised roll (5)  

(1)   After the completion of a revision of the roll of a parish under Rule 4, the PCC must –

(a) publish the roll in such form (whether electronic or otherwise) as it decides, and

(b) make a copy of the roll available for inspection, on a reasonable request being made.

(2)   The period for which the revised roll is published under paragraph (1)(a) must be at least 14 days.

(3)   The roll as published, and the copy made available for inspection, must include every name entered on the roll but no other personal data.

(4)   A name may not be added to or removed from the roll between the completion of the revision of the roll and the conclusion of the annual parochial church meeting, except in so far as is necessary –

(a) to correct an omission or other error, or

(b) for complying with Rule 1(2)(b) and (7) (persons becoming 16).

Changes affecting the annual revision of the electoral roll following the revised 2020 Church Representation Rules

Revision of church electoral roll and preparation of new roll

The provisions relating to the revision of church electoral rolls and the preparation of new rolls in Part 1 of the Church Representation Rules (2020) have been simplified.  Names no longer need to be removed from the roll during the course of the year; they only need to be added: see Rule 2. Names are still removed, as appropriate, at the annual revision: see Rule 4. Provision has been made to avoid a person’s name incorrectly being removed from a roll: see Rule 4(8).

Rolls may be published electronically instead of in paper form. The roll as published must include every name entered on the roll but not other personal data (e.g. addresses). see Rule 5.

Annual Meeting

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting must now be held between 1 January and 31 May (rather than 30 April): see Rule M1.

The annual meeting no longer appoints sidesmen; they are now appointed by the PCC: see Rule M6(6).

A person who is elected in 2020 or subsequently to serve as a lay member of a deanery synod is limited to two successive terms of office. Having served two successive terms, the person is ineligible for election for the next three-year term before becoming eligible again. But the annual meeting may pass a resolution disapplying the limit on the number of terms which may be served by lay members elected by the parish to the deanery synod. The term limit does not apply to any term of office which began before 2020 and will therefore not become material until the deanery synod elections in 2026. see Rule M8(5) to (7).

For detailed information please visit the Church of England website page here.

Renewing the Electoral Roll Every Six Years:

Every six years each parish is required to prepare a new electoral roll.  This took place in 2019 and will be done again in 2025.

A notice should be displayed on or near the main door of every Church of England church in the parish. This needs to be done at least two months before the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) and has to stay up for at least 14 days. Once the notice is up, the preparation of the new electoral roll begins. During the 14 days while the notice is up, whoever is conducting services at the church needs to announce to the congregation that the new roll is being prepared.

The PCC needs to ensure that reasonable efforts are made to let everyone on the old electoral roll know that a new one is being prepared. These steps do not have to be taken for anyone who is no longer qualified to be on the roll, i.e. anyone who has become a clerk in Holy Orders or anyone living outside the parish who no longer worships regularly in the parish.

During the period of preparation of the roll, members on the previous roll need to apply to be included - inclusion is not automatic. New people can also apply during this period. A person applies by filling out an application for enrolment form. The preparation of the roll needs to be completed by a fixed date between 15 and 28 days before the APCM.

As with the annual revision, once the roll is complete a copy needs to be put up on or near the main door of the parish church, for at least 14 days before the APCM. During this time corrections may be made to the entries on the roll, for example how a name is spelt or amending the details of an address. No names can be added or removed during this period, this can only happen after the APCM.

The table below may help you set the dates in your parish.

 

Action

Timing

Date in your Parish   

Decide who is electoral roll officer

At least two months before the APCM

 

Put up notice (on or near the church door)

At least two months before the APCM

 

Announcements during services

The first two Sundays once the notice is displayed

                                                                                     

Send out applications with details of the return address (to those who have recently moved into the parish and joined the church

 

 

PCC informs those on the previous roll

Once the notice has been displayed

 

Completion of the roll

A fixed date 15 - 28 days before the APCM

 

Display the completed roll

Corrections can be made however no names can be added or removed during this period.  

At least 14 days before the APCM

 

Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM): Complete the Electoral Roll Certificate (SG7) and signed immediately after the APCM.  

By 31 May of the Renewal year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although parishes only need to refresh their Rolls every six years, it is still a legal requirement to report the updated number to the Diocesan Secretary, immediately following the APCM each year, to be received no later than 1 July of the relevant year. (Church Representation Rule 10). Please post certificates to: Electoral Roll, Diocesan Office St Nicholas Centre, 4, Cutler Street Ipswich IP1 1UQ. 

 

Who can be on the electoral roll?

To be on the electoral roll a person needs to have been baptised, be at least 16 years old and either:

• Living in the parish and a member of the Church of England or a Church in communion with the Church of England

• Not resident in the parish but is a member of the Church of England (or a Church with which the Church of England is in communion) and has regularly attended worship in the parish during the six months prior to enrolment

• A member in good standing of a Church which subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and they are prepared to declare themselves a member of the Church of England, having regularly attended worship during the six months prior to enrolment.

The most recent forms are available on the Parish Resources website at: www.parishresources.org.uk/ > select PCC/ACPMs (from the top menu).

There is plenty of authority in the higher courts – backed up by a clear opinion from the Law Commission – that if a person types his/her name on an email or other electronic form, that typed name is their signature for that purpose.  So parishes can use electronic versions of electoral roll forms.

You can download the electoral roll certificates here: PDF | DOCX

Deanery Synod Elections

Please see the dedicated webpage regarding Deanery Synod Elections.