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.'

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

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