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.

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