Under The Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956 (“the 1956 Measure”), a PCC has the responsibility for maintaining the fabric of any churches and churchyards in the parish albeit that the ownership remains vested in the incumbent of the benefice. This obligation extends to ensuring suitable buildings, contents and public liability insurance is in place.
Further, the 1956 Measure prevents a PCC acquiring any land in its own name or any personal property to be held on permanent trust without the consent of the diocesan authority (The Diocesan Board of Finance). Where any such property is acquired, it must be vested in the Diocesan Board of Finance for the PCC. This does not mean the diocese then owns the property instead of the PCC. In the contrary, the PCC is regarded in law as being able to fully manage the asset but the structure ensures the PCC complies with all relevant legal obligations. The Diocesan Board of Finance simply acts as a check and balance and cannot prevent a PCC acquiring or disposing of such an asset if the PCC has complied with its legal obligations.
The Church Representation Rules 2011 require that every PCC maintains an Electoral Roll. An Electoral Roll Officer should be appointed, whose role is to keep the Roll up to date by making additions and removals from time to time. Also, the Roll should be revised prior to each Annual Parochial Church Meeting.
The Rules require that in every sixth year after 2007, a completely new Roll should be prepared. The General Synod Office has issued guidance to all Diocesan Registrars concerning the preparation of the new Roll.