At our annual parochial church meeting, we had two vacancies on the PCC, and two nominees for the posts. The chairman, therefore, declared the two nominees elected. I demurred, pointing out that surely the candidates needed the approval of the meeting, otherwise their appointment would not be valid. The chairman accepted this, and the nominees were unanimously elected. Later, he told me that his original action had been completely in accord with Church Representation Rules (11.3): “If the number of candidates nominated is not greater than the number of seats to be filled, the candidates nominated shall forthwith be declared elected.” That is the case, but is the election of candidates without the formal approval of the whole meeting valid?
The wording of Rule 11(3) is quite clear. If there are no more candidates than places to be filled, then the candidates nominated or seconded are to be declared elected. It follows that in such circumstances any resolution passed by the APCM to approve or disapprove the election of candidates would be of no legal effect.
As a matter of good practice, however, I would suggest that the chair of the APCM should ask whether there are any additional nominations before declaring any candidate elected unopposed. Such nominations to the PCC may be made at the meeting as well as beforehand.
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