Information for PCC Secretaries

The PCC is the main decision maker of a parish. Its members are clergy, churchwardens
and others elected by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) of the parish. Its
powers and duties are defined by legislation and can principally be found in the Parochial
Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956.

Legally, the PCC is responsible for the finances of the parish. It 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. It has a voice in the forms of Service used by the church and may
make representations to the bishop on matters that affect the welfare of the parish.

Legal Changes Affecting Church Governance 2024

Two significant legal changes affecting Church governance have (quietly) come into force in the last few months:

1. Remote Meetings

The law has been amended to allow remote and hybrid meetings by electronic means for most types of church meetings. This makes it 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.  (Section 20 and Schedule 2 of the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2024, which came into force on 25 January 2024.)

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

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

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting is a major event in the parochial calendar.  The meeting receives reports on changes to the electoral roll, general parish activities and financial matters. The annual meeting also elects new members to the PCC and to deanery synod every three years.

The deadline for the APCM’s is 31st May.

To help:

  1. Please use the parish portal ( to access the helpful calendar for your APCM dates, put in the date of your APCM, and all the dates of when to display notices, accounts, ER will appear.
  2. The forms needed for your APCM are as follows:

All forms are available to open or download as Word/PDF from Parish Resources ( throughout the year.

Following the APCM, you will be asked by email to update your parish information with any personnel changes via the Winchester Parish Portal: CLICK HERE

If you do not have a login for this portal, please get in touch with Danielle Walmsley, Parish Support Administrator at

Church of England Parish Resources –