Parish governance

Each parish has a Parochial Church Council (PCC) which acts as the decision-making body for many of the church’s activities. It includes, among others, the Incumbent, a Lay Chair and a PCC Secretary (some also include other parish officers such as Churchwardens and PCC Treasurers).

Many of the roles and functions of the PCC can be found in the PCC Secretaries’ Handbook, which gives a clear interpretation of the Church Representation Rules in matters such as Parish Council meetings and Annual Parochial Church Council and Parishioners’ Meetings.

Additional information, including many of the forms set out for financial and safeguarding governance, can be found on the Parish Resources website.

Annual Parochial Church Meetings (APCMs)

Annual Parochial Church Meetings have detailed timings for electoral roll revisions. An easy-to-use planner is available to help you in determining when different aspects have to take place depending on the date of your APCM.

Download the APCMs & Meetings of Parishioners FAQs February 2021

Download the Archdeacons’ APCMs Letter February 2021

Electoral roll and Deanery Representatives

Each year, parishes are asked to review the number of people listed on their electoral roll and confirm their Deanery Representatives on Deanery Synod. Reminders about this are sent from the Diocesan Secretary each year. The forms used for this, and additional resources to help with the process, can be obtained from the Parish Resources website.

We are soon to be launching an online return form for this information that will be sent to PCC Secretaries directly for completion.


Churchwardens are elected at the Parishioners’ Meeting, usually held at the same time as the APCM. Details of the rules covering Churchwardens can be found in the Churchwardens’ Measure, while election forms can be found below.


Below are some of the electoral roll documents that are required for parishes to display and return:

Electoral roll parish display

Electoral roll Diocesan return

Electoral roll deanery return

The South London Church Fund and Southwark Diocese Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee (No. 236594).
Registered Office: Trinity House, 4 Chapel Court, Borough High Street, London SE1 1HW. Registered Charity: (No. 249678).

© The Diocese of Southwark 2021. All rights reserved.
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