PCC stands for Parochial Church Council. Even with the unravelling of the acronym, you may still be none the wiser. “Why Parochial?”, you may be asking.
It shares the same root meaning with the term “parish.” The term “parochial” is often used to refer to narrow minded or restricted view. In its root meaning, that is correct in its use in PCC. Traditionally a “parish” is a geographical area of an English town. So you have the Town Council that manages the whole town. And you have the Parochial Church Council that manages only a restricted area, the parish. We can imagine that there wasn’t a clear secular-spiritual divide in old Christian England, which is long gone.
In our Diocese, as our city is a multi-religious, parish is often a reference to a community of a church. But we should never lose sense of our witness and responsibility in our geographical area of Joo Chiat.
The PCC is primarily responsible for the “temporal” (as in non-spiritual) affairs of the parish which include matters like finance, staffing, properties, just about anything that involves legal transactions or which come under the ambit of legal governance. She should also be concern for the mission and the spiritual life of the parish.
Where does the Vicar feature in all this? He chairs the PCC. In a smaller traditional parish, the Vicar is assisted by lay readers in the spiritual areas of the parish. In the context of our urban Diocese with many large parishes, we have evolved. We now have deaconesses, parish workers and pastoral staff serving in ministry while the PCC may be assisted by various sub-committees. Pastoral staff can give input over temporal matters but it is PCC which has the authority to approve it. PCC gives input on ministry concerns but has to trust the Vicar and his pastoral team to decide. The leadership roles are clear and without confusion.
Why is the PCC elected? They represent the parish community. They will work with the Vicar, bring a good clergy-lay balance and provide governance support and covering for the spiritual ministry. You can now see why it is very difficult for a healthy Anglican parish to run foul of the law of the land. PCC members with the professional or technical expertise in law or finance can guide the clergy. They can ensure robust discussions, especially on matters of great import. As they also represent the different parts of the parish community, various interests and concerns could be raised. The Vicar and PCC are accountable to the membership body of the parish and this is seen especially during our AGMs. The wardens have a direct line to Bishop and this completes the accountability cycle for the Vicar.
When leaders walk in the steps of Christ and serve in humility and love, the church will be blessed.
Could some of you be thinking of serving in PCC? Do pray about that.
Our AGM will be held on 30th Apr (Friday) at 8 pm. Please submit completed PCC nomination forms to Lydia by 4 Apr. You may download the form here: http://bit.ly/MPCC21_PCCnomination