The role of PCC secretaries
PCC Secretaries are governed by:
- Synodical Government Measure 1969
- Church Representation Rules 2020
Churchwardens governed by:
- Churchwardens Measure 2001
Appointment & Term of Office of PCC Secretaries
The PCC Secretary is appointed by the PCC at the first meeting after the Annual Parochial Church Meeting. The PCC Secretary is appointed at the same time as other officers of the PCC such as the Treasurer.
The PCC Secretary need not be a member of the PCC, in which case he/she can be co-opted on to the Council. If the PCC Secretary is co-opted, he/she is a full member of the Council with voting rights. If co-option does not take place, he/she is not a member and therefore has no voting rights.
The term of office is one year.
Duties and Responsibilities of PCC Secretaries
Before the PCC Meeting
Dates of Meetings:
The Church Representation Rules 2020 no longer specify a minimum number of PCC meetings which must be held each year. Instead, the PCC is required to hold a sufficient number of meetings to enable the efficient transaction of its business. (See Rule M23(1). The Secretary should see that dates of meetings are fixed well in advance, and circulate them. Avoid clashes with Deanery and Diocesan synods.
Agenda Standing items: Prayers / Apologies / Minutes of the last meeting for agreement as a true record of the meeting / Matters Arising from the Minutes (i.e reporting back on ‘follow – up’ items from the previous meeting)
‘Brought forward’ items: items specifically referred to this meeting
Recurring items: Any committee, working group or other reports/items normally presented to this meeting
New Items: Matters for the PCC to forward the life and work of the church such as Mission Action Planning; Capital Vision/items received from PCC members / Diocesan or Deanery Synod items
Agenda follow-up / Meeting Preparation:
‘Chase’ those from whom you need reports and updates for the meeting, and to circulate with the Agenda. Check anyone presenting an item has all they need to do so effectively.
Notice to the Church Community:
A notice is displayed on or near the church door at least 10 days prior to the meeting giving the date, time, place of the meeting. This gives church members knowledge that the meeting is taking place and the opportunity to raise matters with PCC members.
Notice and Agenda to the PCC:
At least seven days before the meeting, a notice of the meeting including the Agenda containing is sent to PCC members. This contains motions and business to be dealt with.
What to take to the Meeting:
What to take to the meeting: Notes of Apologies, Minute Book, spare Agendas and any supporting papers; items of correspondence (if relevant).
During the meeting
Listen carefully to what is said.
It is vital to make a note of the following: those present; of decisions made (including, where necessary, the wording of resolutions passed and the results of any votes taken); of the outcome of discussions; and of important facts brought up at the meeting.
The minutes when written should not attempt to be a verbatim record: Notes of discussion are not vital, but if they are included should be concise, giving a flavour of the discussion and of any significant points leading to the decision made or final outcome of discussion.
Sit near to the Chair to give guidance where necessary, for instance, to ensure that all items on the Agenda are covered, or to assist with any aspect of the procedure of the meeting. (See Church Representation Rules – Appendix II).
After the Meeting
Write up the minutes ideally within two days of the meeting, i.e. whilst the meeting is ‘fresh’. They should then be passed to the chair for comment and agreement.
Actions should be noted in the minutes, and those needing to carry them out sent the minutes as soon as they have been agreed by the chair, to enable them to proceed with their ‘Actions’ without delay. The secretary might have specific items of action to progress, e.g sending a letter of thanks.
Other members of the PCC should also be sent the minutes once they have been agreed by the chair.