Annual Parochial Church Meetings


The Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) is a legally required meeting for PCCs. It is normal for the Election of Churchwardens and the APCM to be held at the same time, so information on both is offered here. Please find downloads of all of the forms etc at the bottom of the page.

The Church Representation Rules state:

  • Rule M1(1): In every parish the annual parochial church meeting must be held in the period which begins with 1 January and ends with 31 May.
  • Rule M1(2): Every lay person whose name is on the roll of the parish is entitled to attend the annual meeting and take part in its proceeding.
  • Rule M2(1): The minister must convene the annual meeting by displaying a notice in the required form [which can be downloaded from this page]
    • In the case of the parish church or, where there is more than one church in the parish, each of those churches, on or near the principal door, and
    • In the case of each building in the parish licensed for public worship, in a location readily visible to members of the congregation.
  • Rule M2(2): The period for which the notice is on display must include the last two Sundays before the day of the meeting.
  • Rule M12(1): The result of an election held at the annual meeting must be announced as soon as practicable by the presiding officer.
  • Rule M12(2): A notice of the result must be displayed
    • In the case of the parish church, or where there is more than one church in the parish, each of those churches, on or near the principal door, and
    • In the case of each building in the parish licensed for public worship, in a location readily visible to members of the congegation
  • Rule M12(3): The notice of the result must remain on display for at least 14 days.
 

Election of Churchwardens

The Churchwardens Measure 2001, which came into force on 1 January 2002, states:

  • Section 1: The churchwardens of every parish shall be chosen from persons who have been baptised and whose names are on the church electoral roll of the parish;
    • who are actual communicants;
    • who are twenty–one years of age or upwards; and
    • who are not disqualified. [Note: download the nomination form below for details of disqualifications]
  • Section 4: The churchwardens of a parish shall be chosen annually, not later than the 30th April in each year.

Subject to the provisions of this Measure, the churchwardens of a parish shall be elected by a meeting of the parishioners.

Note also that the Election of Churchwardens can be attended by people who are not on the Electoral Roll. They can attend and vote, but are not entitled to attend the APCM and they may be excluded from that meeting, however, there is nothing to stop a parish allowing such people to attend the APCM, and this may be pastorally advantageous.

Candidates for election at the meeting must be nominated and seconded in writing by persons entitled to attend the meeting and each nomination paper must include a statement, signed by the person nominated, to the effect that that person is willing to serve as a churchwarden and is not disqualified.

A nomination shall not be valid unless —

  • the nomination paper is received by the minister of the parish before the commencement of the meeting; and
  • in the case of a person who is not [normally] qualified, the bishop’s permission was given … before the nomination paper is received by the minister of the parish.

If it appears to the minister of the parish that the election of any particular person nominated might give rise to serious difficulties between the minister and that person in the carrying out of their respective functions, the minister may, before the election is conducted, make a statement to the effect that only one churchwarden is to be elected by the meeting. 

In that event, one churchwarden shall be appointed by the minister from among the persons nominated, the name of the person so appointed being announced before the election is conducted, and the other shall then be elected by the meeting.

  • Section 5: A joint meeting of —
    • the persons whose names are entered on the church electoral roll of the parish; and
    • the persons resident in the parish whose names are entered on a register of local government electors by reason of such residence, shall be deemed to be a meeting of the parishioners for the purposes of this Measure.

Notices for Election of Churchwardens

Although it is normal for the Election of Churchwardens and the APCM to be held at the same time, the Statutory Notice for the APCM, as laid down in the Rules, makes no provision for the Election of Churchwardens, so there have to be two notices. The Statutory Notice as laid down by the Rules is available below. 

Also available are a Notice and a nomination form which satisfy the new Churchwardens Measure. 

Both Notices have to be displayed for a period of at least 14 days, including the two Sundays before the Meeting.


Terms of office

Prospective Churchwardens must be members of the Electoral Roll. They can hold office for an uninterrupted period of six years if re-elected each year, but must step down after that unless the APCM has voted to suspend this provision at least a year ahead of the six year limit being reached. 


Downloads: 




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