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, below, 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.

PCC Secretaries & Administrators Conference

Following the continuing success of the PCC Secretaries’ & Parish Administrators’ conferences, we were pleased to welcome PCC Secretaries & Parish Administrators from across the Diocese to events held both in-person and online in June 2024. Contributions from Trinity House Staff and the Archdeacon of Croydon covered a varied range of topics from the role and responsibilities of a PCC to to the wider context of Diocesan activities including Southwark Vision 2024-2035, Communications, and Lay Ministries. A copy of the slides used at the events can be found here.

Dates and details of the events in 2025 will be circulated in due course.

Electoral Rolls 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.

Churchwarden Elections

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.

Following the election, the Churchwarden Declaration must be signed by the Chair of the meeting and by the elected Churchwarden(s). Churchwardens must then bring the completed Declaration to the Archdeacon’s Visitation Service (see Events Page for dates) to be handed in.

Below are the two documents that are required for Churchwarden election as well as the Declaration, available in Word (fill-able electronically) and PDF formats, for your convenience.


PCC Secretaries' Handbook


Deanery Representatives

Churchwarden Elections

Electoral Rolls

Useful Documents

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 2024. All rights reserved.
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