The Parochial Church Council or commonly abbreviated as PCC is the governing council of the Church of England parish. It comprises priests and archbishops of the parish, collectively with delegates of the laypeople. One can trace its origin from the chapel council, which saw over matters concerning religion and secularity in a parish. The committee must manage the financial affairs and sustenance of assets relating to the church parish, which comprises church halls and churches, etc. It aids the priesthood in the administration of church affairs and the simultaneous progression of the church’s purpose. Here, we’ll discuss PCC Secretary Job Description.
The PCC secretary has to take care of all the documentation related to the different commitments of the committee. He has to keep a record and maintain the minutes from each meeting, which involves listing every resolution discussed/implemented. He has to take care that the secretaries of the diocesan synod and deanery synod respectively receive updates of his/her name and residence.
Selection & Tenure of PCC Secretaries
The appointment of a PCC secretary comes at the first gathering after the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, by the PCC. His selection happens simultaneously with the other required PCC officers, for example, the Treasurer. The PCC secretary doesn’t need to be a member of the PCC, in that scenario he/she can be co-opted on to the Council. The PCC Secretary will have full voting rights if he/she is co-opted whereas if there is no co-option then the PCC Secretary won’t be a member and will have no voting rights.
The average pays per year for a PCC Secretary in England ranges from approximately £41,647. If compared with the metrics, it comes out at 90% beyond the general average. The mean pay per hour of a Church Secretary ranges up to £9.48. These are not absolute values but relative to an individual’s skill set and the ability to perform tasks responsibly.
Duties of PCC Secretaries
- He is responsible to collaborate with the chairperson of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) in matters concerning the formation of the agenda and documentation required for committee meetings of the PCC.
- He should plan, draft, and distribute the agenda and necessary documentation in due time, which must be at least 7 days before the actual meet.
- He must attend the PCC meets and make accurate detailed notes. These notes serve as a draft or model for preparing minutes.
- He has to record the attendance at the meets.
- He must keep a record of the formal resolutions enacted by the Committee along with the voting statistics.
- He needs to ensure that the committee fixes the dates of the meeting to occur in the future.
- His responsibility also concerns the production and distribution of the minutes gathered from different meets.
- He should make sure that the minutes from different meets, along with the additional documentation, are available for public review but shouldn’t contain any confidential information.
- He must actively respond to requests from the Diocese punctually.
- He should be able to organize the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM). This is after proper permission and notice. He should also be able to accumulate, reproduce and distribute written records, programs, and minutes.
- He needs to report to the APCM based on the work by the PCC.
- He should keep the Diocesan Secretary updated with changes in parish officers or their residence details.
- He should also inform the Deanery Synod Secretary of developments in Parish Representatives on the Deanery Synod.
What does a PCC’s Agenda Include?
The PCC secretary handles preparing an agenda for all meetings in collaboration with the chairperson. It is crucial to note that any member of the PCC may have further additions made to the agenda. The regular standing items are:
- A Prayer at the beginning.
- Apologies for the absence from the absent members, usually informed beforehand so that the speaker could announce it in the meeting.
- A report on any variations in the association of the PCC since the last meeting (if there is any)
- Discussion of Minutes:
- To approve the minutes drafted based on the previous meeting
- Matters that arise from the deduction of minutes
- Secure minutes or reports of sub-committees or other administrators. They may comprise issues such as outreach, disciples, supervision, construction plans, etc.
- State of the buildings (repairs, plans, etc.)
- Securing financial reports from the treasurer
- Deanery Subjects
- Discussion is related to planned arrangements for a forthcoming event.
- Separate correlated topics
- Other urgent businesses.
- To ensure the labeling of a certain part (if at all any) of a meeting, confidential.
- A Prayer at the end.
PCC Secretary’s Role in the APCM
At the APCM
- To look over the election of wardens.
- To help with the election of Deanery Synod Representative (s) (only every 3 years).
- To aid the election of members to the PCC (The first PCC meeting following the APCM, sees such an election where team council and local selections happen).
- To secure Annual Reports and Financial Records
- To receive reports from the warden, the priest, and the Deanery Synod
- To make sure that the wardens finish the Churchwarden’s Declaration Form and their introduction at an annual Visitation to get sworn into office.
- To make sure that the details of the Visitations and the required forms from the Archdeacons’ Office get delivered to the Parish Priests and Churchwardens in February each year.
- To confirm the completion of Electoral Roll Forms, signed timely. And a copy of the same to be publicized at or near the main door of every church and building (licensed for public worship) in the parish for fourteen days.
- To send copies of the completed certificate to the secretary of the deanery synod, and one to the Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Electoral Registration Officer.
Key Pointers and Pattern for Drafting Minutes
- It should be brief and direct.
- It must cover all crucial facts and the results of discussions held.
- It must register the contents of formal proposals, commitments, and reformations collectively with voting figures.
- It should not be inclusive of all the details of the actual discussions held.
- It should show the central domains of the discussions.
- It shouldn’t revolve around individual narratives with the mention of speakers and listeners.
Pattern to Follow:
- Summary of the meeting: title, date, time, place, etc.
- Attendance Details
- Apologies for being absent
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- Report of corrections made
- Note of the minutes that were accepted
- Concerns recognized from the minutes – course of action taken up from the decisions made in the previous meeting
- Separate agenda items, such as reports from sub-committees
- Date of next meeting
Criteria to Meet for Standing Up in PCC Elections
- Be 16 years of age or over it.
- Be present on the church’s electoral roll and if under 18 years then being on that role for at least 6 months.
- To be an “actual communicant”. This refers that the individual has received Association according to the practice of the Church of England or any other Church that is in communion with the Church of England for a minimum of 3 times during the 12 months before the actual date of the election.
- Shouldn’t have received a disqualification from serving as a charity trustee (under S72 (1) of The Charities Act 1993) and shouldn’t possess a Charity commission waiver.
- Shouldn’t have a prohibition from securing office (under S10 (6) of the Incumbent Vacation of Benefice Measure 1997)
- A clerk in Holy Orders cannot cast the election as a PCC member. The above criteria are not applicable to enact efficiently unless the individual cannot sign the nomination form.
Acronyms that PCCs Should be Familiar with:
- AGM – Annual General Meeting
- APCM – Annual Parish Church Meeting
- BC/SC – Bishop’s Council/Standing Committee
- BDC – Bishop’s Diocesan Council
- DAC – Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches
- DDO – Diocesan Director of Ordinands
- DS – Diocesan Synod
- ER – Electoral Roll
- LLM – Licensed Lay Minister
- SSMs – Self Supporting Ministers
- PTO – Clergy with Permission to Officiate
- HfD – House for Duty priest
- PCC – Parochial Church Council
- MMF – Mission and Ministry Fund
- PRF – Pastoral Resource Fund
The Parochial Church Council is a body that consults on grounds of common concern and interest in the parish. The PCC Secretary is an essential position within the Council. But with a respectable and vital position comes the associated pivotal duties. For, a secretary of the duties ranges from include mailing out notices for scheduled meetings in due time to drafting details of the meets as minutes.
They should keep a note on the parish diary, remain up-to-date with the recent developments, and be able to communicate everything clearly to the chairperson. It is a role that demands good organizational skills and efficient nature, those who work for it and rise step by step to reach the position. The responsibilities may increase or decrease according to the location but in the end, it all sums up that a person who believes in the purpose of the Church is what they seek.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is PCC?
PCC stands for Parochial Church Council and is the white-collar committee of The Church of England.
- During a year, how many times does a PCC organize meetings?
By Law, the PCC must hold four meetings within a year plus the Annual Parish Church Meeting (APMC).
- Do PCC members have to undergo training?
Yes, PCC members have to attend safeguarding training, you cannot become a PCC member if one gets listed in a Safeguarding Offence.
- What is the purpose of writing minutes?
PCC secretaries, draft minutes as a record of the meetings, they write them to be accurate, brief, and clear.