How a PCC works

The information on this page will help you to make sure that your PCC is properly constituted to represent and support the work of your parish.

Categories of PCC membership

There are four categories of PCC membership:

  1. ex-officio (clergy, licensed workers, churchwardens, General, Diocesan & Deanery Synod members);
  2. appointed (Licenced Readers);
  3. elected at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM);
  4. co-opted during the time between annual meetings.

The number of elected and co-opted members is directly set by the size of the parish’s electoral roll. See the page on Elections for details.

Terms of office

PCC members are chosen at the Annual Meeting, which must take place in each parish no later than 31st May each year.

To stand for election to the PCC or a higher Synod, you need to be:

  • over 16;
  • able to consent to being appointed;
  • on the electoral roll for at least six months (if aged 18 or older);
  • legally allowed to be a Charity Trustee;

and have received communion, within the Church of England, at least three times in the previous 12 months.

The term of office is three years. Standard practice is to elect one-third of your PCC's elected members each year. Any members co-opted during the year must stand down at the next Annual Meeting, but may stand for election if they wish to continue as a PCC member and meet the qualification criteria.

A Churchwarden's term of office is for 1 year.  For more information about Churchwardens, please see the page Being a Churchwarden.

Licenced Readers who are appointed to the PCC must be re-appointed every year by the Annual Meeting.  Readers may stand for election to the PCC along with all other lay members of the parish.

PCC committees


PCCs can create sub-committees to carry out specific jobs. Each sub-committee should ideally have at least one PCC member along with other church members who have the enthusiasm and/or relevant expertise. These sub-committees are responsible to the PCC, should report back regularly and seek approval before making changes or incurring costs. The PCC is ultimately responsible and should give clear direction to all its sub-committees.

The Standing Committee:

This is a statutory PCC committee that may carry out some of the work of the PCC between meetings (e.g. if an urgent matter arises for which a full PCC Meeting cannot be called). The Standing Committee reports to the PCC. The size of a Standing Committee is dependant on the size of the parish Electoral Roll. The Minister is always an ex-officio member and the PCC must appoint others from its own lay membership.

See the page Model PCC Standing Orders.

Conflicts of interest

Each PCC member must ensure that neither they, nor their family members, benefit from their PCC membership.

Payment of PCC members and their families is a complex issue - if this is relevant to your PCC, please seek advice from the Resources Team at St James’ House by calling 0151 705 2180 or emailing


Our Christian faith demands that we are good stewards.

Each PCC member, with their colleagues, will need to ensure that their parish community maintains the highest standards – for example: breaches of Health & Safety, or not following current Safeguarding guidance is not acceptable.

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