Electoral Roll & Parish Council
Governance in the Church of England for Parish Churches
In the Church of England, all Parish Churches use the same governance process, where an annual elected Church Council is appointed to oversee the Church Governance every year. This election happens near or around the end of Lent and before Easter every year in what is called an Annual Parochial Church Council Meeting (APCM). The Parish Council (PCC) is appointed or reaffirmed at this meeting, where each MUST be on the Electoral Roll of the Parish. The Priest in Charge also has the power to co-opt on three additional people to join the Council to help meet assessed governance needs in the year ahead. In the Church of England the Financial Year is Jan1st to Dec31st, but where the Governance year is usually 1st April to 31st March.
Becoming a Member of the Electoral Roll
Anyone who lives in the Parish or beyond can be on the Electoral of the Parish if they have reliably attended some aspect of the Church’s worship, mission and community life for at least 6 months. If you have attended that long, please do print off the electoral roll form below, and complete in full and bring it to Church for the next time you are attending an event or service. If you have any queries, please do email our Electoral Roll Officer here
Please note that you must be over 16 years old and been baptised by a Church in the name of the Holy Trinity as a Christian. Please note that this baptism does not necessarily mean you have to be baptised in a Church of England Church.
Annual Parochial Church Council Meeting
This meeting will happen in two parts. The first part is called the Annual Vestry Meeting is to affirm or elect the following roles to the Parish Church Council (PCC) which will meet At least bi-monthly throughout the year.
Church Wardens – These are officers of the Bishop, and take a leading role in leading and decision making. The minimum term of a Church Warden is normally 6 years. As well as being appointed, Church Wardens need to be sworn into office at a separate service led by the Bishop of Southwark. This role is part of the Standing Committee of St Luke’s.
Deanery Synod Officers – Depending on the size of the Church, there will be elected representatives for the Local Deanery Synod. Those elected represent St Luke’s at local decision making, and also from time to time are responsible for consultations at a Deanery Synod level from the General Synod, (The Church of Englands Parliament).
The Second part of the Meeting, elects woman and men of good standing to be on the PCC for the next year. Within these are
PCC Secretary – This is an important role, who is responsible for the planning of meetings, agendas, minutes and recording of past meetings using the Church Intranet and office filing system. This role is part of the Standing Committee of St Luke’s.
Church Treasurer – This is a really important role, responsible for ensuring and overseeing financial planning that includes, budget setting, reporting, annual reports, and updates around financial outcomes. The Treasurer works closely with the Priest in Charge, Parish Finance Officer, and Church Wardens to ensure that the Church Financial Procedures Policy is followed in full. This role is part of the Standing Committee of St Luke’s.
Electoral Roll Officer – Ensures that the Church follows the expected Church of England rules around membership of the Electoral Roll and the APCM. The Electoral Roll Officer also ensures that the current Roll is kept up to date concerning address and contact information. The ERO is responsible to ensure that everything is up to date in advance of the APCM.
Safeguarding Officers – Ensures that the Church meets expected Safeguarding law and legislation for Churches, and also meets the expectations of the Diocese and Church of England. We are accountable to the Diocesan Safe Guarding Officer who acts as custodian of the Diocesan Safeguarding ‘Safer Churches’ policy. At St Luke’s we have a safeguarding officer for the Sunday Morning Service, and Evening Service, who act as ‘Disclosure Managers’ and an additional person who is part of the Parish Office team to be the ID checker.
Parish Finance Officer (incl. Stewardship) – This role is a combination of a number of roles that include stewardship officer, gift aid officer in what we are calling locally the Parish Finance Officer. This person oversees the counting of gifts at the morning service, and ensure that the banking and parish expenses system is managed in accordance with the Church Financial Policy. The role is also to support the Priest in Charge and Treasurer in gift aid and financial stewardship campaigns. This role is part of the Standing Committee of St Luke’s.
Lay Chair – The Priest in Charge is the automatic Chair of the Parish Church Council. On the occasion of illness or vacancy, the Lay Chair takes on the role to CHair PCC meetings, including preparation and actions. This role is part of the Standing Committee of St Luke’s.
Sunday Morning Service Leader – This is a local innovation to St Luke’s, where this role is to help the Priest in Charge in the development of this service.
Sunday Evening Service & New Monastic Assist. Prior – Again this is a local innovation to St Luke’s, where the role is to help the Priest in Charge in the development of the Wellspring New Monastic Community and the Sunday Evening Service.
Youth Church Leader – The Church Youth Worker and any Apprentice will be co-opted onto the PCC. This position is for representation from a member of the Church involved in this important ministry.
Children’s Church Leaders – If the Church appoints a Children’s and Family Worker in the near future, this post will be co-opted onto the PCC. This position is fro representation from a member of the Church involved in this important ministry.
Small Groups Leaders – This role is one of the priorities for the current Priest in Charge, and so a rep from this group will be included in the election for the next PCC.
Peckham Citizens Leader – This role is one of the priorities for the current Priest in Charge, and so a rep from this group will be included in the election for the next PCC.
The Standing Committee has the responsibility in meeting the needs of the weekly and day to day running of the Church. This is currently sustained by a Weekly Standing Committee Meeting on Tuesday Evenings at 6pm in the Church, and for the Parish Officer on Wednesdays 10.30 to 3pm.
The following roles are included in the Standing Committee:
- Church Wardens
- PCC Secretary
- Lay Chair
- Parish Finance Officer
- Church Treasurer
The following roles can attend Standing Committee as necessary:
- Safeguarding Officers
- Electoral Roll Officer
- Youth Worker
- Assistant Priests
- Other employees of the Church