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The parochial church council (PCC) is the executive committee of Saint Mary Our Lady, Sidlesham. Legally the council is responsible for the financial affairs of St Mary's and the maintenance of its assets, such as the church and church hall, but the council also acts as a focus for church affairs in the parish.

PCCs were set by the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1921 Act as a successor to the Vestry or Vestry Meetings, which had had their civil functions removed during the nineteenth century in numerous acts, concluding in 1894 with the establishment of civil parishes. The subsequent 1956 and 1969 Acts now govern the establishment and function of PCCs.

Members of St Mary's PCC are elected at the parish AGM. A list of the current members of St Mary's PCC can be found on the "Contact Us" page.

At St Mary's we have a PCC meeting approximately every three months and it is usually held in the church.

 

Chancel repair Liability (CRL)


CRL is a legally enforceable liability to contribute to the cost of repair of the chancel and is attached to the ownership of particular pieces of land because the land in question originally formed part of a rectory. Following the dissolution of the monasteries, a large amount of such property came into lay ownership and the relevant Acts of Parliament made it clear that the new owners of the land took over the obligation to repair the chancel of the parish church. The Chancel Repairs Act 1932 provided that in future CRL was to be enforceable in the county court and that the responsible authority for enforcing it is the PCC of the parish concerned. After 12th October 2013 the liability can only be claimed if it has been registered with Land Registry and that can be done at any time before the land is next sold.

At St Mary's the PCC's research found that there are 73 plots of land in the parish with CRL attached. We took advice and, given the very small area of St Mary's which constitutes the chancel, the large number of plots of land concerned and the comparatively small amount of liability attached to each plot, the cost of further research and the legal proceedings necessary would exceed the value of any likely claims. We concluded therefore that it did not make economic sense to continue the process to register the liabilities. We also felt that to pursue CRL would be damaging to the goodwill which is shown to St Mary's. As trustees we had to be sure that legally and in the eyes of our insurance company we would not be neglecting our duty in taking this decision. So we then sought the view of the Charity Commission who confirmed our feelings in responding that the Commission considers that the PCC's decision is reasonable in the circumstances being within the range of possible decisions that a reasonable body of trustees could have made. This can be taken as formal advice under section 110 of the Charities Act 2011.'

Friday, 24 April 2015

Annual Parochial Church Meeting

The APCM was held in church on 29th March and thirty parishioners attended. Father Stephen recalled some of the highlights of 2014 and remembered those faithful worshipers who passed away during the year. He also thanked all those who work so hard for St Mary's and for it's ministry.
The meeting received the Annual Report of the work of the PCC and the Financial Report for 2014. Copies of these reports are available in church for anyone who was unable to attend the meeting.

Dr Lesley Bromley, Mrs Joanna Chivers-Gibbs and Mrs Beverley Hughes will continue as the Deanery Synod representatives for the laity of our parish for the coming year and Janet Harland and Chris Field were re-elected as churchwardens.

The members of the PCC for 2015-16 will be-

Bryan Bone, Gill Cook, Michael Fowler, John Graves, Louisa Robson, Beryl Rodd, Alan Sheldrick, Andrew Swain, Jenny Trimble, and Sally Vinnicombe.

Sidespeople for the coming year were appointed and Kevin Coppard was appointed Independent Examiner for 2015.

The new PCC appointed Michael Fowler as Treasurer for the coming year.