Thought for the month

The Rector writes...

All about the Church Electoral Roll

In accordance with the Church Representation Rules, a new electoral roll is to be prepared in each parish in 2019.  The Church Electoral Roll is your parish church’s register of electors and is the list of those qualified to attend and to vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting in the elections for the Parochial Church Council and the parish representatives on the Deanery Synod.  In 2019 and every 6 years thereafter the electoral roll is renewed.  In a year of renewal, no names are carried over from the old roll and everyone must apply for inclusion on the new roll.

By enrolling you become a voting member of the Church of England and so help to ensure that all the Synodical councils of the Church – the parochial church council, the deanery synod, the diocesan synod, and the General Synod – are fully representative of its members. Synodical government gives an opportunity for partnerships between bishops, clergy and laity in the life of the Church.  The system is intended to enable church people at every level to be in touch with the Church as a whole and to play their part in decision-making.  The system is also intended to ensure that all church people have their place in every aspect of church life, including its doctrine and services.

Do I qualify for the Roll?

To apply for the Electoral Roll you must meet all the following conditions:

  • You must be aged 16 or over 
  • You must be baptized.
  • You must be a member of the Church of England and EITHER live in the parish OR have attended a church in the parish regularly for at least 6 months.

Why Join the Electoral Roll?

Joining the electoral roll is an important way of confirming your commitment to your local church family and to the vision of the church. But it also opens up the way for greater involvement in the life of the Church of England, at Deanery, Diocesan and national levels. By joining, you become entitled to participate in the government of the church and to vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, where the elections take place for:

  • the parochial church council
  • the parish’s representatives on the deanery synod.

Any person entitled to attend the APCM may raise any question of parochial or general church interest.

Numbers are important in the present climate in which the Church of England needs to be aware of the commitment of its people. Church morale is affected by statistics and while it would be wrong to inflate the significance of the Roll it would be a missed opportunity to ignore it.

Joining the roll is an important statement of witness and a step along the path of discipleship. With your name on the electoral roll, the strength of the Church can be seen in our local area, and across the Diocese. If you’re a regular at any of the churches in our Benefice, you should be on the electoral roll!

There will be forms at the back of your church, or from your Churchwarden. PLEASE fill one in the next time you’re in church!

Revd Liz Simpson

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