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

More than 130 participants gathered online for the third annual PCC Secretaries’ Conference on Wednesday 9 February to share advice and support on issues from APCMs to property leases.

A copy of the slides and information used at the meeting can be found here.

Bishop Christopher, who could not be present because he was attending General Synod, opened proceedings with a video message. “PCC secretaries and those who serve with you as members of PCCs and parish support staff make a vital contribution to the health of our parishes,” he said, adding: “I thank you for all you give and all you are giving. May God bless you richly this evening in all your conversations.”

The Venerable Simon Gates, Archdeacon of Lambeth, then delivered a presentation and took questions on the upcoming Archdeacons’ inspections.

He was followed by Joseph Reed, legal adviser to the Diocese of Southwark in property matters, who talked about the role of the Diocese as Custodian Trustee; David Loft, Director of HR, who spoke about safer recruitment; Gabby Parikh, Head of Giving, who gave a presentation on the Parish Support Fund; and Deputy Diocesan Secretary, Jackie Pontin, who discussed data.

After each presentation there was the opportunity to ask questions, and the evening ended with Compline.

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.

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

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

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 2023. All rights reserved.
Hit enter to search or ESC to close