Annual Meetings are essentially ‘business meetings’
- at which people are elected to hold responsibilities and execute tasks as part of proper representation
- at which paperwork – forms and electoral rolls, accounts and reports – are presented as part of proper governance (compliance and transparency)
- at which opportunity is given to both ‘showcase’ and to celebrate the life and work of the Church/ Chaplaincy
Church Annual Meetings are governed by the Church Representation Rules – as the name suggests, these are rules, not simply guidelines!
The bullet points provide the headings to give an overview of what is covered. Click on these to see more information. The text in green provides some explanation and local context.
A full version of the rules and regulations are available on the Church of England website and links are provided to these.
In a Chaplaincy there is no PARISH (which is a term used to define a geographical area) so this becomes the Annual Church Meeting ACM
Similarly the Parochial Church Council PCC becomes in our context the Church Council CC Where the word parish is used please read Chaplaincy
Questions by all means to the Chaplain firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ANNUAL MEETING
Click on the headings to reveal more details about each area of the meeting.
- Timing and attendance
M1 (1) In every parish, the annual parochial church meeting (referred to in this Part of these Rules as ‘the annual meeting’) must be held in the period which begins with 1 January and ends with 31 May.(2) The following persons are entitled to attend the annual meeting and take part in its proceedings –
(a) every lay person whose name is on the roll of the parish, forms to do so available from ER officer
(b) every clerk in Holy Orders to whom paragraph (3) applies,
(3) This paragraph applies to a clerk in Holy Orders if he or she –
(a) is beneficed in or licensed to the parish or to another parish in the area of the benefice to which the parish belongs, has Bishop’s PTO
(d) is a co-opted member of the CC under Rule M15(1)(k).
- Convening meeting
M2 (1) The minister must convene the annual meeting by displaying a notice in Form M1 –(a) in the case of the parish church on or near the principal door, and
(b) in a location readily visible to members of the congregation. Currently website is our Noticeboard in addition to noticeboard outside Church and windows of Anglican Centre
(2) The period for which a notice under paragraph (1) is on display must include the last two Sundays before the day of the meeting.
(3) The annual meeting must be held at a place in the parish unless the CC decides otherwise.
(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 CC, or
(b) if there is not a vice-chair or the vice-chair is unable or unwilling to act, the secretary of the CC or some other person appointed by the CC.
PROCEEDINGS AND ELECTIONS
- Business: reports etc.
- Business: elections and appointments
- Business: miscellaneous
- Qualifications of persons to be elected
- Conduct of an election
- Result of an election
M4 (1) The chair of the annual meeting is –(a) the minister, or
(b) if the minister is absent or decides to vacate the chair or if there is nobody who is the minister within the meaning of these Rules (see rule 83(1)), the vice-chair of the CC, or
(c) if the vice-chair of the CC is absent or decides not to take the chair –
(i) a person chosen by the annual meeting
M5 (1) The CC must provide the annual meeting with each of the following, which the annual meeting may then discuss –(a) a report on the changes to the roll since the last annual meeting or, in a year in which a new roll is prepared, a report on the numbers entered on the new roll,
(b) an annual report on the proceedings of the CC and the activities of the parish generally,
(c) the financial statements of the CC for the year ending on the 31 December preceding the meeting,
(d) the annual fabric report under section 50 of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018, and
(e) a report of the proceedings of the deanery synod.
(2) The CC must ensure that a copy of the roll is available for inspection at the meeting.
(3) The annual report to be provided under paragraph (1)(b) must include a statement as to whether the CC has complied with the duty under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 (duty to have regard to House of Bishops’ guidance on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults).
(4) The annual report to be provided under paragraph (1)(b) must be prepared in the form specified by the Business Committee.
(5) The financial statements to be provided under paragraph (1)(c) –
(a) must be prepared in the form specified by the Business Committee, and
(b) must be independently examined or audited in the manner specified by the Business Committee.
(6) If the CC approves the financial statements that have been examined or audited under paragraph (5)(b), the chair of the meeting at which they are approved must sign them.
(7) Once the financial statements have been signed under paragraph (6), the CC must, for at least seven days before the annual meeting –
(a) publish the signed statements in such form (whether electronic or otherwise) as it decides, and
(b) make a copy of the signed statements available for inspection, on a reasonable request being made.
(8) The CC must, before the end of 28 days beginning with the date of the annual meeting, ensure that a copy of the annual report and financial statements provided under paragraph (1)(b) and (c) are given to the secretary of the diocesan board of finance for it to retain.
M6 (1) The annual meeting must, in the manner provided by Rule M9, do the following things in the following order –(a) elect in every third year2 parochial representatives of the laity to the deanery synod;
(b) elect parochial representatives of the laity to the CC.
(2) The annual meeting, having conducted the elections under paragraph (1), must appoint a person who is not a member of the CC to be the independent examiner or auditor of the CC for a term of office ending at the conclusion of the next annual meeting.
(3) It is for the CC to pay the remuneration of a person appointed under paragraph (2).
(4) A person may be appointed as the independent examiner of the CC only if the person comes within the description given in section 145(1)(a) of the Charities Act 2011 (independent person with requisite ability and experience etc.).
(5) A person may be appointed as the auditor of the CC only if the person is eligible as the auditor of a charity under section 144(2) of that Act (eligibility as statutory auditor).
M7 (1) Any person who is entitled to attend the annual meeting may ask a question about church matters or bring about a discussion of any matter of parochial or general church interest –(a) by moving a general resolution, or
(b) by moving to make a particular recommendation to the council in relation to its duties.
(2) The annual meeting –
(a) may adjourn;
(b) may determine its own rules of procedure.
(3) The secretary of the CC, or such other person as the meeting may appoint instead, acts as the clerk of the annual meeting and must record the minutes.
(b) he or she is an actual communicant, and
(c) his or her name is on the roll of the parish and, unless he or she is aged under 18 at the date of the election, has been on the roll for at least the preceding six months.
(a) the person has indicated his or her consent to serve, or
(b) there is, in the opinion of the meeting, sufficient evidence of his or her willingness to serve.
(4) A person may not be nominated for election under Rule M6(1)(a) if the person is disqualified under Part 7.
(5) A person who serves as a parochial representative of the laity on the deanery synod for the whole or any part of each of two successive terms of office may not be nominated for election under Rule M6(1)(a) to serve as such for the whole or any part of the term of office immediately following the second of those terms.
(6) Paragraph (5) does not apply to a term of office –
(a) which began before the commencement of Schedule 1 to the Church Representation and Ministers Measure 2019 (which substituted the whole of the Church Representation Rules), or
(b) which the person concerned is serving as a result of having been elected to fill a casual vacancy.3
(7) The annual meeting may by resolution decide that paragraph (5) does not apply to the parish; and a resolution to that effect may be revoked by a subsequent annual meeting or special parochial church meeting.
(8) A person may not be nominated for election under Rule M6(1)(b) if –
(a) the person is disqualified under Part 7, or
(b) the person is disqualified from being the trustee of a charity (and the disqualification is not subject to a waiver which permits membership of a CC).
M9 (1) This Rule applies in the case of every election which is to take place at the annual meeting, subject to any variations made by a resolution under Rule M10 or M11.(2) A candidate must be nominated, either before the meeting in writing or at the meeting, by two persons each of whom –
(a) must be entitled to attend the meeting, and
(b) must have his or her name on the roll of a parish.
(3) If the number of candidates does not exceed the number of seats to be filled, each candidate is declared elected.
(4) If the number of candidates exceeds the number of seats to be filled, an election must take place in accordance with the following provisions.
(5) Every lay person whose name is on the roll of the parish is entitled to vote in the election.
(6) Each person entitled to vote has as many votes as there are seats to be filled, but may not give more than one vote to the same candidate.
(7) Votes may be given by a show of hands; but if one or more persons object to that, each vote is to be given on a voting paper signed on the back by the voter.
(8) If there is an equality of votes, the election is decided by the drawing of a lot by the presiding officer.
(9) On a recount of an election or a stage of an election, either on an appeal or at the request of the presiding officer or a candidate, if the original count and the recount are identical at the point when a lot must be drawn, the original lot must be used to decide.
(10) The presiding officer for an election at the annual meeting is the chair of the meeting, unless a presiding officer is appointed under Rule M11(3).
M12(1) The result of an election held at the annual meeting, must be announced as soon as practicable by the presiding officer.(2) A notice of the result must be displayed –
(a) in the case of the parish church or, on or near the principal door, and
(b) in a location readily visible to members of the congregation.
(3) A notice under paragraph (2) must remain on display for at least 14 days.
(4) The notice must specify the date on which the result was declared.
(5) After the end of the period for which the notice was on display under paragraph (3), the secretary of the CC must keep a list of every member’s name and address.
(6) The list under paragraph (5) must be made available for inspection, on reasonable notice being given to the secretary by a person who is resident in the parish or has his or her name on the roll; but the secretary need not provide a copy of the list.
(7) Where a member has provided the secretary with an email address, the address recorded for that member on the list must include that email address.
(8) The list in the form in which it is made available under paragraph (6) must include every name recorded on it but no other personal data.
(9) The secretary of the CC must give the name and address of every person elected to the deanery synod as a parochial representative of the laity to –
(a) the diocesan electoral registration officer, and
(b) the secretary of the deanery synod.