PCC Page

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.'

Monday, 24 May 2021



Held on SUNDAY 9th May AT 11.00 IN CHURCH

Election of Churchwardens,

Christine Field- proposed Gill Mason, seconded Julie Smith

Janet Harland- proposed Gill Mason, seconded Nigel Smith

Welcome and Introduction by Mrs Chris Field

After welcoming everyone to the socially distanced meeting, Chris Field went on to say that Father Stephen and Margaret had been overwhelmed with their farewell service on Easter day. They said that an occasion which could have been sad was in fact a very joyous one.

She reported that the church had been open as much as was allowed and this had been much appreciated.

 Financially, we had kept afloat due to the generosity of parishioners either through direct donations or through the Parish Giving Scheme.

She added that there are now 185 on the electoral roll, 141 are residents and 44 are non-residents.

The Sunday School now has 7 leaders. The children will still be attending in their ‘bubbles’ on alternate Sundays for the present time.

Finally, she said that the Archdeacon had assured us that we are looking for a priest of our own. This means we do not have to battle against amalgamation with another parish.

Election and Appointment of Representatives of the Laity.

Gary and Kim have agreed to stand again for membership of the PCC. Rob Simpson and Mandy Jones are standing down.

The following have been nominated:

Dawn Lawson-proposed by Chris Field-seconded by Janet Harland

Allison Merrett-proposed by Chris Field-seconded by Janet Harland

Hannah Baggott-proposed by Chris Field-seconded by Janet Harland

Kate Jacob-proposed by Chris Field-seconded by Janet Harland

All were carried unanimously.

Election of independent auditor

Kevin Coppard has agreed again to be the Auditor next year. He was proposed by Joanna Chivers-Gibbs and seconded by Louisa Robson


Dr Lesley Bromley wished to give a vote of thanks to the churchwardens, Joanna Chivers-Gibbs and the treasurers for carrying the parish through the difficulties presented by the pandemic.

Janet Harland added that the deliverers of the magazine should also be mentioned for diligently getting the magazine out to all and keeping people in touch with the church. This too applied to the website, which is updated weekly.

Finally, all agreed how grateful we are to Father Roger!


The meeting ended at 12.00 with the Grace.

Thursday, 8 April 2021


The meeting of the PCC held on Thursday, 18 March 2021

at 7.30 p.m. by Zoom


With grateful thanks to Dr Lesley Bromley for facilitating this meeting.


Before the formal proceedings of the PCC meeting, Chris Field introduced the Archdeacon, Father Luke Capel-Irvine, who joined us to take us through the things we need to do during the vacancy, and the steps we need to take to find a priest to follow Father Stephen.

He began by saying that when a vacancy begins there is a feeling of anxiety at first, wondering about the future and what kind of priest will replace the current incumbent. He added there was naturally sadness at the departure of Father Stephen. He urged us not to be afraid and, most importantly, to pray for the parish and its people.

He listed the following tasks ahead of us:


Thank Father Stephen for his 12 years with us.

Sort out the practicalities of services, baptisms, weddings and funerals.

Write a Parish Profile

Select two Lay representatives to be involved in the interview process

Pray for the parish and its people.


In the absence of Father Stephen, Chris Field was elected as vice-chairman and the meeting began.


The annual report was discussed and accepted. Gary Hopkinson reported that despite the pandemic the finances had held up due to some generous donations and the regular giving by those taking part in the Parish Giving Scheme.


The Annual Parochial Church Council Meeting will take place on May 9th after the church service.


The pattern of services will be as follows:

1st Sunday Family Communion

2nd , 4th and 5th Sunday Parish Eucharist

3rd Sunday   Matins

All services will be at 10.00 am for the time being but there will be one 8 o’clock Eucharist on 3rd Sunday


 A discussion was held about what should be included in the Parish Profile and Chris Field explained that a questionnaire had been included in the Parishioner to seek views and opinions from the wider community.


It was not possible to hold our usual Fete this year, and various fund- raising ideas were put forward. Diana Ward has offered to have a sale in her garden, and Hilary Platts has said that she will do a Yorkshire Tea on 1st August in Janet’s garden. The regulations are still unclear at this stage but volunteers were invited to join an organizing working party.


In AOB the Deanery Synod reps reported that they had attended via Zoom and heard how churches in the deanery had coped with the pandemic. All churches had been active in their communities.

Finally, the safeguarding policy was agreed.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Annual Parochial Church Meeting 2017

The Annual Parochial  Meeting of the PCC took place on Palm Sunday.
Father Stephen welcomed everyone, saying he thought it had been a very good year, and thanked everybody. The building of the Annex was coming on apace, and he thanked Dame Jenny and the Church Development working party.  The windows of the building would be splendid, and he hoped the rooms would be of great benefit to the wider  community, thanks to everyone’s generosity.
He thanked Lesley for her imaginative fund raising ideas, and felt there was an appetite to keep the activities going; as he told the Bishop and Deanery,  having a project seemed to bring people together, and there was a buoyancy and spirit to the proceedings.
He thanked the ‘three women’ in his life - Chris, Janet and Margaret, who keep him going; also the PCC, Joanna and the choir, and the sides persons. He felt that we had a good reputation for being a friendly church.

He added that it was lovely to see the youngsters coming along to the junior choir, even  though it meant we had lost  the servers. He hoped that more people would come forward to join the servers, adults would be particularly welcome.  
Copies of the Annual Report of the PCC and the audited accounts for 2016 are available at the back of the church. 
Chris Field and Janet Harland were re-elected as churchwardens and Joanna Chivers-Gibbs and Lesley Bromley as Deanery Synod representatives. The members of the PCC are: Lisa Bassett, Alison Bell, Bryan Bone, Gill Cook, Michael Fowler, Louisa Robson, Alan Sheldrick, Rob Simpson, Andrew Swain, Dame Jenifer Trimble and Sally Vinnicombe

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.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Next PCC Meeting

The next PCC meeting will be held on March 3rd 2016. There will be a Eucharist service at 6.30 and the meeting will follow at 7pm

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Roof Repair Fund

St Mary's is supported by the Listed Places of Worship Fund. This Fund was set up after the Chancellor of the Exchequer committed £15m of funding in 2014. After the programme opened for applications the significant demand resulted in the Chancellor committing a further £40million to the Listed Places of Worship: Roof Repair Fund in the 2015 Budget. Read More »

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.