Resources for PCC members

What happens when a parish goes into, or is in, vacancy?

Harbour Church parish profile Three parish profiles

It can be a daunting time when your incumbent announces their resignation or retirement. Your Archdeacon will help you through the process of finding a new minister, and we’ve also created a helpful guide the details the various agencies and stages that will be involved.


Support for Charity Trustees and PCC members

Members of the PCC are also considered to be Trustees. Whether you’re new to being on a PCC or have many years experience, these short video guides produced by the Charity Commission will help you be sure of your responsibilities and confident you’re doing the right thing. They give simple and clear advice, designed with real situations in mind. The guides all signpost to more detailed information and advice should you need it.

Church governance

Recent changes

1. Remote meetings

(Section 20 and Schedule 2 of the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2024, which came into force on 25 January 2024.)

The law has been amended to allow remote and hybrid meetings by electronic means for most types of Church meetings. This makes it possible (or, in some cases, confirms that it is possible) to hold meetings remotely, including voting and making decisions. It is possible to use video or telephone conferencing exclusively, or to hold a hybrid meeting combining both electronic conferencing and a physical presence.

The new provisions apply to:

  • PCC meetings
  • PCC Standing Committee meetings and other Committee meetings
  • Annual Parochial Church Meetings (APCMs), Special Meetings (Rule M13) and Extraordinary Meetings (Rule M14)
  • Meetings of parishioners to elect churchwardens under the Churchwarden Measure 2001
  • Deanery Synod meetings
  • Diocesan Synod meetings
  • Meetings held as part of the process of appointing an incumbent under section 11 and section 12 of the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986
  • Meetings of a Patronage Board
  • Meetings of Cathedral bodies under the Care of Cathedrals Measure 2011 or the Cathedrals Measure 2021
  • Meetings of the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE)
  • Any other meetings of a body constituted by or under the Church Representation Rules

In relation to PCCs, the new power to meet remotely is in addition to the pre-existing power to conduct business by correspondence (Rule M29). Where previously a PCC was able to discuss a matter informally online before conducting a vote by correspondence under Rule M29, they are now able to meet formally online and vote online.

2. Election of lay representatives at the APCM

(para 2 of the Church Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution 2023, which came into force on 1 August 2023)

This rule change concerns the election by the APCM of lay representatives to the PCC. Previously, if the number of candidates for election did not exceed the number of seats available on the PCC, the candidates were declared elected without a vote.

Under the new rules, any person entitled to attend the APCM may, in these circumstances, move a resolution that a vote be held on whether each candidate should be elected. If the resolution is passed, the meeting votes on whether each candidate should or should not be elected.

It should be noted that, in the absence of a resolution being proposed to vote on each candidate individually, the candidates will instead be declared elected without a vote, as before.

The online edition of the Church Representation Rules has been updated to incorporate this change – see Rule M9.