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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.'

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Parish Giving Scheme

Parishioners can donate to St Mary's by using the Parish Giving Scheme(PGS). 

PGS is a direct-debit system originally developed by the Diocese of Gloucester to provide a professional, effective donation management system to support parishes in funding their mission and ministry.  It reduces the burden of work on parish volunteers and provides a professional service to our donors.  It enables:
  •  the donor to sign up to inflationary increases to their gifts, overcoming static giving.
  • the parish to improve cash-flow by receiving the gift, together with gift aid accompanying the donation on the tenth of the month.

Chichester Diocese


The  first parishes in the Chichester  diocese started piloting the PGS in June 2012. It was given formal approval for a roll-out across Sussex by The Chichester Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) in autumn 2012.

At the beginning of October 2015, £257,670 was remitted to local churches in our diocese through the PGS, including £49,774 of Gift Aid.

Cumulatively, about £5 million has been remitted to parishes since we introduced the scheme to this diocese, which includes well over about  £1m of GiftAid reclaimed.

How the Scheme works

 Donations can be made on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. They are collected by Direct Debit on the first day of the month.  The gift plus any related Gift Aid is then passed on to the specified church by the tenth of the month.  The donor can opt to commit in principle to increase their gift annually in line with inflation, and/or remain anonymous to their parish. 

Donors receive an initial letter confirming their details and welcoming them to the scheme.  All those who have requested to inflate their giving annually will then receive a letter one month before the anniversary of their first gift informing them of their soon to be inflated gift (with the option to vary it).  The system uses the CARE database (a professional system used by many large Charities). 

Parish Giving Scheme Limited has now been established as a charitable limited company, with participating dioceses as members of it. Existing donors migrated on 1st November 2014.  The new Joint Venture structure and a grant from the Archbishops’ Council which has allowed systems work to improve the effectiveness of our processing and strengthening of management have removed the need for a “queue” – essentially, dioceses are now able to join the scheme at the time that is right for them.

Further details

For further details, email us via the Contact Us page, and select 'Giving' in the 'Organisation or Person' box, or simply talk to the treasurer, churchwarden or Fr Stephen.

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