Q. Is there a new deadline for when APCMs must have taken place by?
A. APCM/APMs for this year need to take place by 31 October 2020.
Q. Considering the Covid19 pandemic, does this year’s APCM have to be a face-to-face meeting?
A. On 17 August 2020 Bishop Libby instructed an instrument which allows the provision of remote meetings. The provision is in place until 31 August 2021. This allows PCC’s to call a virtual meeting using such technology as video conferencing software. See the Instrument here.
Q. We have had to reschedule our APCM as the last one was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Does this mean we have to republish all the APCM and Electoral Roll forms we already had displayed before lockdown?
A. Yes. The dates of the notices must be in line with the timeframes set in the CRR. Full details here.
Q. Do we have to be quorum to hold an APCM?
A. There is no minimum quorum at an APM or APCM, therefore whoever turns up for the quorum.
Q. We haven’t opened our church yet since lockdown so how do we announce the upcoming APCM?
A. Put up notices in the usual way, advertise it well online and in whatever way is appropriate for your parish. Make sure you include in your notices, perhaps as notes at the bottom but not in such small print or so tucked away that people don’t notice them, the following information and anything else which you consider it would be sensible to add:
Please note that people attending the meetings will be expected to:
a) wash their hands thoroughly on entry (delete this and re-phrase it if no such facility is accessible at the point of entry) or use the hand sanitiser provided;
b) wear masks, unless a Government exemption applies to a particular person;
c) give his/her name, address and telephone number for contact tracing purposes upon arrival. These details will be destroyed after 21 days.
d) bring to the meeting relevant paperwork which will have been sent out previously to members on the Electoral Roll.
Q. Do reports presented at the APCM, such as the Deanery report, have to run from e.g. March 2019 to March 2020 or from March 2019 to present (seeing as we have had to reschedule our original APCM date)?
A. Reports relate to the financial year of the accounts being scrutinised. See CRR Drawing attention to M5
Q. Who is allowed to vote at an APCM?
A. Every lay person whose name is entered on the Church Electoral Roll of the parish (and no other person) is entitled to vote at the election of parochial representatives of the laity.
Q. Is postal voting allowed at APCMs?
A. The new rules about the possibility of postal voting for the APCM are not available for use this year. If you want to use them next year, you will need to pass a resolution to that effect at this year’s APCM.
Q. As Electoral Roll Officer, am I allowed to contact those on the electoral roll via email if I have their email address (even if I haven’t had written consent/signed GDPR form to do so)?
A.Yes. If a person on the electoral roll has given you their e-mail address, you are allowed to use it for the purpose of notifying them of the APM and APCM because it is for the purposes of fulfilling your obligations under the Church Representation Rules.
Q. What qualifies someone to be added to the Electoral Roll?
A. See CRR Part 1 Rule 1.
Q. CRR 1 (4)(c) and 1 (5)(c) state if the member has “habitually attended public worship in the parish during the preceding six months” they are entitled to be added to the Electoral Roll. As our church has been closed due to lockdown no-one has been able to attend. Can we base this rule on the previous six months prior to lockdown?
Q. If a church warden resigns before his term of office concludes at the next APCM does he automatically lose his place on the PCC?
A. Under Church Representation Rule M17(1)(b) if a member resigns from office as churchwarden they no longer qualify to rule M15(1)(e) and therefore PCC membership ceases. They can’t fill the vacancy caused by their own resignation, as that’ll be reserved for the next church warden. However they may be put forward for election as a member if there is a casual vacancy on the PCC (an election open to all on the roll would apply – See M18) or co-opted if there is room to do so (see M15 (10) for detail).
Q. Can I submit the annual accounts before they are approved by the APCM?
A. Yes. CofE are encouraging parishes to submit their accounts after approval by the PCC in order to provide an idea of annual statements. Approved accounts can be resubmitted as and when they become available. https://www.parishresources.org.uk/resources-for-treasurers/
Incumbents, treasurers and wardens in each parish will have access to the Parish Returns site within the C of E Portal and need to enter financial information for 2019. Online paper copies are not being accepted. A copy of the accounts should have been sent to the Parish Support Finance team by 31 July 2020. If this has not yet been done, would you please contact Mary Kemp (email@example.com) and submit you’re accounts as soon as possible.
Q. Can we communicate all APCM matters via email and accept email response as acceptable or must completed forms have wet signature?
A. During the lockdown all APCM , APM and Electoral Roll forms may, if desired, be completed and signed electronically with a scribed signature (which has either been added as an image to the document or if the document including the signature has been scanned) and submitted by email where the parochial church council has provided an email address: see rule 76.
Q. Our deanery synod members are due for election. Can people who have served for 6+ years be re-elected?
A. At the moment, yes. Recently, a measure was introduced that prevents deanery synod members from serving more than six years. However, this timeframe only began on 1 January 2020 so any time on a deanery synod before the start of this year should not be counted.
Communicating by email or post
76 (1) If a person has provided an email address –
(a) any communication required or authorised to be given to that person by or under these Rules may be sent to that email address, and
(b) any disclosure of the person’s name and address required or authorised by or under these Rules must include that email address.
(2) A communication sent by email is to be treated as being in writing if it is received in a form which is legible and capable of being used for subsequent reference.
(3) Where a communication is sent to a person by email at the most recent address provided by that person, it is to be treated as having been given to the person at the time at which it is sent.
(4) Where a communication is sent to a person by post and addressed to that person at his or her last known address, it is to be treated as having been given to the person by the time at which it would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.