Church Representation Rules online - part 1

Part 1 Church Electoral Roll (Rules 1 to 10)

CHURCH ELECTORAL ROLL

Compilation of the roll

1    (1)   In every parish there must be a church electoral roll (referred to in these Rules as ‘the roll’) on which the names of lay persons are entered in accordance with this Part of these Rules.

(2)   A lay person is entitled to have his or her name on the roll of a parish if he or she –

(a) is baptised,

(b) is aged 16 or over (but see paragraph (7)),

(c) has made one of the following three declarations, and

(d) has duly applied for enrolment on Form 1.1

(3)   The first declaration is a declaration that the person –

(a) is a member of the Church of England or of a Church in communion2 with it, and

(b) is resident in the parish.3

(4)   The second declaration is a declaration that the person –

(a) is a member of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with it,

(b) is not resident in the parish, but

(c) has habitually attended public worship in the parish during the preceding six months.

(5)   The third declaration is a declaration that the person –

(a) is a member in good standing of a Church which is not in communion with the Church of England but subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity,

(b) is also a member of the Church of England, and

(c) has habitually attended public worship in the parish during the preceding six months.

(6)   A person who is entitled under this Rule to have his or her name on the roll of more than one parish is entitled to have his or her name on the roll of each of those parishes; but the following provisions specify purposes for which the person is required to choose one of those parishes –

(a) Rule 16(2) (membership of the house of laity of a deanery synod);

(b) Rule 33(6) (additional members of diocesan synod nominated by bishop);

(c) Rule 36(4) (eligibility for election to diocesan synod);

(d) Rule 50(8) (eligibility for election by diocesan electors);

(e) Rule M8(2) (eligibility for election as parochial representative of laity);

(f) Rule M15(6) or (7) (membership of PCC).

(7)   Where a lay person, who is going to become 16 after a revision of the roll or the preparation of a new roll is complete but before the date of the annual parochial church meeting, duly applies for enrolment on Form 1, the enrolment may take effect on the person’s 16th birthday.

(8)   The roll of a parish must be kept and revised –

(a) by the PCC, or

(b) by the electoral roll officer under the direction of the PCC.

(9)   Where a new parish is created by a pastoral scheme by the union of two or more former parishes, the roll of the new parish is in the first instance to consist of the rolls of the former parishes combined to form a single roll.

(10) In any other case where a new parish is created by a pastoral scheme, the roll of the new parish is in the first instance to consist of the name of every person who –

(a) on the date when the new parish comes into existence, has his or her name on the roll of a parish the whole or part of which forms part of the new parish, and

(b) is resident in the new parish or has habitually attended public worship there.

(11) The roll of a parish must, where practicable, specify the address of every person whose name is on it; but a failure to specify an address does not affect the validity of the entry.

(12) Where a person has provided an email address on Form 1, the roll must specify that email address.4

(13) A copy of the roll of a parish must be made available for inspection, on a reasonable request being made to the PCC; and the copy made available for inspection must include every name entered on the roll but no other personal data.

Additions to the roll

2    (1)   The name of a person who is entitled to have his or her name on the roll of a parish must, subject to these Rules, be added to the roll.

(2)   If additions are made to the roll, the electoral roll officer must report them at the next meeting of the PCC.

(3)   A list of the names added, but no other personal data, must be made available for inspection, on a reasonable request being made to the PCC.

Revision of the roll: notice

3    (1)   The roll of a parish must be revised annually, except in a year in which a new roll is prepared (as to which, see rules 6 and 7).

(2)   Notice of the proposed revision must be given on Form 2 and displayed by or under the direction of the minister –

(a) in the case of the parish church or, where there is more than one church in the parish, each of those churches, on or near the principal door, and

(b) in the case of each building in the parish licensed for public worship, in a location readily visible to members of the congregation.

(3)   The notice under paragraph (2) must remain on display for at least 14 days before the proposed revision begins.

(4)   In a case where the minister is absent or incapacitated by illness or for some other reason or where there is nobody who is the minister within the meaning of these Rules (see rule 83(1)), the minister’s function under this Rule is to be carried out by –

(a) the vice-chair of the PCC, or

(b) if there is not a vice-chair or the vice-chair is unable or unwilling to act, the secretary of the PCC or some other person appointed by the PCC.

Revision of the roll: preparation

4    (1)   On each revision of the roll of a parish –

(a) every addition to the roll since the previous revision (or, if there has not yet been a revision of the roll, since the formation of the roll) must be reviewed and any further additions must be made as necessary, and

(b) a person’s name must be removed from the roll in each of the following cases.

(2)   The first case is where the person has died.

(3)   The second case is where the person has become a clerk in Holy Orders.

(4)   The third case is where the person has stated in writing the wish to have his or her name removed.

(5)   The fourth case is where the person was not entitled to have his or her name entered on the roll at the time it was entered.

(6)   The fifth case is where the person –

(a) has ceased to reside in the parish,

(b) has not continued to habitually attend public worship in the parish during any period of six months, and

(c) has not been prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause.

(7)   The sixth case is where the person –

(a) is not resident in the parish,

(b) has not habitually attended public worship in the parish during the preceding six months, and

(c) has not been prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause.

(8)   The name of a person must not be removed from the roll in the fourth, fifth or sixth case unless the PCC has taken reasonable steps to establish the relevant facts.

(9)   The removal of a person’s name from the roll under these Rules does not affect any right the person may have, or may acquire, to have his or her name entered again.

(10) The revision of the roll of a parish must be completed at least 15 days, but no more than 28 days, before the annual parochial church meeting.

Publication of revised roll

5    (1)   After the completion of a revision of the roll of a parish under Rule 4, the PCC must –

(a) publish the roll in such form (whether electronic or otherwise) as it decides, and

(b) make a copy of the roll available for inspection, on a reasonable request being made.

(2)   The period for which the revised roll is published under paragraph (1)(a) must be at least 14 days.

(3)   The roll as published, and the copy made available for inspection, must include every name entered on the roll but no other personal data.

(4)   A name may not be added to or removed from the roll between the completion of the revision of the roll and the conclusion of the annual parochial church meeting, except in so far as is necessary –

(a) to correct an omission or other error, or

(b) for complying with Rule 1(2)(b) and (7) (persons becoming 16).

Preparation of new roll: notice

6    (1)   Notice that a new roll for a parish is to be prepared must be given on Form 3 and displayed by or under the direction of the minister –

(a) in the case of the parish church or, where there is more than one church in the parish, each of those churches, on or near the principal door, and

(b) in the case of a building in the parish licensed for public worship, in a location readily visible to members of the congregation.

(2)   The notice under paragraph (1) –

(a) must be put on display at least two months before the annual parochial church meeting in every sixth year beginning with 2025, and

(b) must remain on display for at least 14 days.

(3)   The preparation of a new roll for a parish –

(a) must not begin before the date on which the notice is displayed under paragraph (1), and

(b) must be completed at least 15 days, but no more than 28 days, before the annual parochial church meeting.

(4)   At every service held on each of the two Sundays in the period of 14 days beginning with the date on which the notice is displayed under paragraph (1), the person conducting the service must inform the congregation of the preparation of the new roll.

(5)   In the case of a church in which no service is held on either of the two Sundays in that period, at every service held on the first Sunday after the date on which the notice is displayed under paragraph (1), the person conducting the service must inform the congregation of the preparation of the new roll.

(6)   In a case where the minister is absent or incapacitated by illness or for some other reason or where there is nobody who is the minister within the meaning of these Rules (see rule 83(1)), the minister’s function under this Rule is to be carried out by –

(a) the vice-chair of the PCC, or

(b) if there is not a vice-chair or the vice-chair is unable or unwilling to act, the secretary of the PCC or some other person appointed by the PCC.

Preparation of new roll: process

7    (1)   The PCC of each parish must take reasonable steps to inform every person whose name is on the roll of the parish –

(a) that a new roll is being prepared, and

(b) that, if the person wishes to have his or her name entered on the new roll, the person must apply for enrolment.

(2)   The duty under paragraph (1) does not apply in the case of a person whose name would be removed under Rule 4 if the roll were being revised; but before deciding that a person comes within the fourth, fifth or sixth case under that Rule, the PCC must take reasonable steps to establish the relevant facts.

(3)   On the preparation of a new roll, the name of each person who is entitled to have his or her name entered under Rule 1 must be entered on the roll; and a fresh application on Form 1 is required from each person whose name is already on the roll.

(4)   A person whose name is already on the roll is not disqualified from having his or her name on the new roll merely because he or she has not complied with the condition in Rule 1(4)(c) or (5)(c) (habitual attendance at public worship), if the person was prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause.

(5)   In a case where paragraph (4) applies, the application on Form 1 must briefly state why the person did not comply with the condition in question.

Publication of new roll

8    (1)   After the completion of a new roll under Rule 7, the PCC must –

(a) publish the roll in such form (whether electronic or otherwise) as it decides, and

(b) make a copy of the roll available for inspection, on a reasonable request being made.

(2)   The period for which the new roll is published under paragraph (1)(a) must be at least 14 days.

(3)   The roll as published, and the copy made available for inspection, must include every name entered on the roll but no other personal data.

(4)   A name may not be added to or removed from the roll in the 14 days beginning with the day on which the roll is published under paragraph (1)(a), except in so far as is necessary –

(a) to correct an omission or other error, or

(b) for complying with Rule 1(2)(b) and (7) (persons becoming 16).

(5)   The new roll takes effect on its publication under this Rule (at which point the previous roll ceases to have effect).

Boundary changes

9    (1)   On an alteration of the boundaries of parishes, the PCC of each parish from which an area is transferred must ask each person resident in that area whose name is on the roll of the parish whether the person wishes to have his or her name transferred to the roll of the other parish.

(2)   Where a person answers in the affirmative –

(a) the PCC must remove the person’s name from the roll for its parish and inform the PCC of the parish in which the person now resides, and

(b) the PCC of that parish must enter the person’s name on its roll without requiring him or her to apply for enrolment.

Notification of number on roll

10   The chair, vice-chair, secretary or electoral roll officer of a PCC must, no later than 1 July in each year, give the secretary of the diocesan synod written notification of the number of names there are on the roll of the parish as at the date of the annual parochial church meeting.

Notes

1 Form 1 may, if desired, be completed and signed electronically and submitted by email where the parochial church council has provided an email address: see rule 76.

2 A list of Churches in communion with the Church of England can be found in the Supplementary Material in the published version of the Canons of the Church of England (available in print from Church House Publishing or online at https://www.churchofengland.org/more/policy-and-thinking/canons-church-england).

3 A person who resides in an extra-parochial place is to be treated as if he or she is resident in a parish which the extra-parochial place borders on: see rule 82(2).

4 If a person provides an email address, any communication under the Church Representation Rules may be sent by email to that address: see rule 76.