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Annual meeting in the vicarage?

27 May 2016


Your answers

Is it right that an APCM is held in the vicarage?


There is nothing to prohibit the vicarage being the venue for the annual parochial church meeting (APCM). The Church Representation Rules merely state that it should be held “within the parish unless the parochial church council decide otherwise”.

Assuming that the due notice of time and venue has been duly advertised, the vicarage will, therefore, be a legally legitimate venue.

Nevertheless, there are considerations that might suggest that the vicarage was not the “right” venue.

First, it perhaps suggests a lack of ambition. Given the trend to accommodate the clergy in more modest dwellings, the choice of the vicarage would seem to go hand in hand with the assumption that the APCM is going to be attended by only a handful.

The APCM is marked by few as the highlight of the year and turn-out is rarely “overwhelming”. If, however, you really have so few attending that they can fit with ease in an average-sized living room, it suggests either that the church has minimal reach, or at least that accountability for the governance of the church is not seen as the business of the “ordinary member” in the pews. Neither situation would be healthy.

Second, is the vicarage, as a domestic setting, the right place for such formal business? As examples: does the Vicar, as host, perhaps exercise extra undue influence on deliberations? Will the conduct of elections be comfortable? How secret will the ballot be if half the voters are squeezed on to a single sofa?
Gwilym Stone


Your questions


Is the psalmody in Morning and Evening Prayer on Sunday, whether said or sung, optional or mandatory?
D. G. B.


In the largely urban deanery of Newcastle West, we have only one male churchwarden serving among female colleagues in our 15 parishes. Is our situation unusual, or is it increasingly the case that women are willing to step up to fill an essential office that men are no longer prepared to do?
N. D.


I was recently talking to a school caretaker who told me he was the property manager. Norwich diocese (Letters, 29 April) calls its DAC secretary the Executive Officer for the Care and Development of Church Buildings. In the future, how will we style diocesan secretaries, archdeacons, deans, and bishops?
J. H.


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