Following the renewal of the electoral roll in 2019, it is only necessary to complete a revision of the roll in 2020 and for the following four years.
Impact of Covid
In 2021 it is still possible to hold APCMs by Zoom or other virtual meeting tool.
However, there is no change planned to the normal deadline for the APCM to be held, which is 31 May.
Parishes are advised to respect the normal provisions for giving notice of the APCM and Parish meeting alongside taking reasonable steps to inform people by email, website, etc.
One matter which arises as a result of the unusual circumstances of the last year is what to do about people who were not previously in the church but have attended Zoom services in the last year, should they wish to join the electoral roll. The Registrar advises that, as habitual worship is not defined within the Church Representation Rules, attending via watching a streamed or pre-recorded service would be sufficient to meet this criteria if:
a. The parish has been noting the names of those joining these services and can confirm the applicant has indeed been ‘attending’; and
b. The services are made available to the public at large.
Main changes in the 2020 Church Representation Rules
For experienced PCC secretaries or Electoral Roll officers, it may be helpful to begin by listing the main changes brought about by the new Church Representation Rules introduced in 2020. These are as follows:
- The deadline for holding the Annual Parochial Church Meeting is now 31 May, so there is more time to do everything than in the past.
- The notice of revision of the Electoral Roll has been revised.
- The application form for joining the Electoral Roll has also been revised, and now includes a privacy notice.
- The PCC can now choose how the roll is published. It could now be done online, for instance.
- It is now only the names of those on the Electoral Roll which are published – no addresses.
- It is no longer necessary to display a certificate showing the number of people on the roll. You simply have to inform the Diocese in writing by 1 July (although we also accept the information by phone in this Diocese).
Notice of the revision of the electoral roll must be given using the form of notice prescribed by the Church Representation Rules. You must display the notice for at least 14 days before beginning the revision, though this does not preclude distributing application forms and receiving completed forms.
You can download all the relevant documents below:
- Notice of Annual Parochial Church Meeting (A3)
- Notice of Annual Parochial Church Meeting (A4)
- Form of Notice of Revision
- Application for Enrolment
- Application for Postal Vote
- Electoral Roll Certificate 2021
Depending on the size of the parish, you will probably want to leave a period of a few weeks in which people can be informed about the electoral roll and have time to get a form and complete it.
It is fine to put the electoral roll form on the parish website, if you have one. You will need a signed copy of the completed form from each person applying to join the roll.
Names should only be removed from the roll if people have ceased to be qualified or if they have stated in writing that they wish to come off the roll.
You need to complete the revision of the roll between 28 and 15 days before the APCM and then publish the roll. The published version will only include people’s names. The PCC can decide how the roll is published.
The PCC must also make a copy of the roll available for inspection on receipt of a reasonable request. Again, the version available for inspection will only include people’s names.
During the period after the publication of the roll and prior to the APCM, changes to the roll can only be made either
- To correct an error; or
- Because somebody who applied in advance of turning 16 has now reached that age.
The version of the roll held by the PCC and which is not for publication must include each person’s address and also their email address, if an email address has been provided on the application form.
The number of people on the electoral roll of the parish must be communicated to the diocesan office by 1 July.
Please contact Lynn Phillips:
St Martins House, 7 Peacock Lane, Leicester LE1 5PZ
Questions about the Church Representation Rules should be addressed to Andy Brockbank: 0116 261 5312, firstname.lastname@example.org