Every parish has a Parochial Church Council (PCC). The PCC work alongside the minister “in promoting in the parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical”. They are the main decision-makers for the church and responsible for all aspects of governance.
A PCC's members include the incumbent (and any other licensed clergy in the parish), the churchwardens (who are elected by an Annual Meeting of Parishioners), and representatives of the laity elected by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) of the parish.
The PCC’s powers and duties are defined by legislation and can principally be found in the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956.
The detailed rules around elections, how the PCC should conduct business, etc., are found in the Church Representation Rules (Church Representation Rules online - contents | The Church of England).
This section will help you find useful resources, links and support if you sit on your church's PCC, but this is a brief outline of a PCC's role and responsibilities:-
- It has the responsibility, along with the incumbent, to promote the mission of God in its parish. PCC discussions will include reflection on the forms of service used and the ways in which the church is seeking to be involved in mission.
- Legally, the PCC is responsible for the finances of the parish.
- The PCC also has ultimate responsibility for the care and maintenance of all church buildings and their contents. Although these responsibilities are executed by the churchwardens, all PCC members must share in the oversight.
- The PCC may make representations to the Bishop on matters that affect the welfare of the parish.
- All PCCs are charities. Most do not the need to register with the Charity Commission, except those with an annual income of more than £100,000. Therefore, every member of a PCC is also a charity trustee. If a PCC is registered with the Charity Commission, it must comply with the Charity Commission guidance and legislation in relation to charities.
- While it is the incumbent’s role to provide leadership concerning safeguarding, the PCC as a whole must have “due regard” to guidance issued by the House of Bishops on all matters relating to safeguarding (including obtaining DBS checks for volunteers, training, following safer recruitment guidelines, etc.).
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You can also read the PCC’s Accountability Guide on the national Church of England website