Should the minutes of the PCC standing committee be
available to PCC members? And how long before a deanery synod and
PCC should the agenda and minutes from the last meeting be
The Church Representation Rules (2011 edition) state that a
notice containing the agenda shall be sent to all PCC members not
less than seven days before the meeting. In my opinion, minutes
should be issued as soon as possible after a meeting (ideally
within two weeks) while matters are still fresh in the minds of
those who were present. As the approval of the minutes of the
previous meeting would be on the agenda of the next meeting, they
should be sent out at the very latest with that agenda.
The Church Representation Rules also state that, subject to
rules made by the diocesan synod, the deanery synod shall have the
power to determine its own procedure. Such procedure could cover
the issuing of the agenda and minutes.
The PCC's standing committee has the power to transact the
business of the council, subject to any directions given by the
council. Clearly, the council must be informed of any business that
has been transacted by the standing committee, and it can issue
directions that minutes should be made available to PCC
It used to exasperate me at synod meetings when minutes were
placed on chairs for us to pick up as we arrived. It made me feel a
bit desperate at PCC meetings when the minutes were read out by the
secretary, and during "Matters Arising" it became clear that almost
no one had actually done what they had said they would do at the
previous meeting. People had either forgotten, or not even realised
they were expected to "do something".
So we began a new way of recording the proceedings and decisions
of our PCC. The minutes were typed up and sent by hand (in later
years, by email) to me, and to a churchwarden, if one of them had
chaired that meeting, to be checked for accuracy. This was usually
done within 48 hours. Once agreed with the PCC minutes secretary,
they were typed up, and copies were made and circulated to every
member of the PCC (not just to those who had been present) as soon
as possible. Generally, everyone received their copy by or on the
Sunday after the meeting. ACTION to be taken, BY WHOM, and WHEN BY
The secretary made notes at our standing committees, but these
were not circulated. They were for us both to use when preparing
the next agenda, and an aide memoire for me regarding matters that
needed my attention before the next meeting.
I believe these measures helped us greatly in turning "business"
into mission, and plans into action.
(The Revd) Russ Naylor
As a deanery-synod secretary, I try to do what I always have
done in secretarial posts: issue minutes as soon as possible after
a meeting. This ensures that corrections can be made while the
meeting is fresh in people's minds. I also try to issue a "Deanery
Digest": a short account of the meeting for inclusion in parish
I distribute agendas at least seven days before a meeting, if
possible, and always include another copy of the minutes with it.
Notice of meeting dates and venues are in the minutes, and I will
remind members of synod by email at least ten days beforehand. Both
agendas and minutes are distributed by email
Bradford deanery, Salisbury diocese
The Church Representation Rules state that "Minutes of meetings
of the council shall be available to all members of the Council.
The members shall also have access to past minutes which the
Chairman and Vice-Chairman jointly determine to be relevant to
current Council business." (This might be deemed to cover the
standing committee's minutes, too.) Agendas must go out not less
than seven days before the meeting. Editor
Can the formula for supplementary consecration of bread
and/or wine lawfully (or validly) be used outside a celebration of
the eucharist? If a priest uses this formula in isolation, to "top
up" the elements in the aumbry for the communion of the sick, what
should a lay eucharistic assistant who is uneasy about this
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