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 6(1): In every parish there shall be held not later than the 30th April in each year the annual parochial church meeting (the “annual meeting”).

  • Rule 6(2): All lay persons whose names are entered on the roll of the parish shall be entitled to attend the annual meeting and to take part in its proceedings, and no other lay person shall be so entitled.

  • Rule 7(1): The annual meeting shall be convened by the minister of the parish by a notice in the form set out in section 4 of Appendix I to these rules affixed on or near to the principal door of every church in the parish, and every building licensed for public worship in the parish, for a period including the last two Sundays before the day of the meeting.

  • Rule 11(9): The result of any election by an annual meeting shall be announced as soon as practicable by the person presiding over the election, and a notice of the result shall in every case be affixed on or near the principal door of every church in the parish and every building licensed for public worship in the parish, and shall bear the date on which the result is declared. The notice shall remain affixed for not less than fourteen days.

  • Synodical Government Measure 1969 as amended

© Crown Copyright 1969–2001


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: