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Parish and deanery minutes

03 July 2015

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.


Your answers


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 received?


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 members.


Michael Robinson

Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire


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 were highlighted.

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

Runcorn, Cheshire


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 magazines.

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


Anne Willis

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


Your questions


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 practice do?


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