I. Reviewing Resolutions

My archdeacon says that the PCC must vote again on resolutions A, B and C when our rector moves next month. Is she right?

In a word, no. The Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986 (as amended) provides that, on a vacancy in a benefice, the PCC must decide whether to pass resolutions A and B (if they are not in place) or whether to rescind the resolutions (if they are in place)(1986 Measure section ll.l.f). In other words, if the PCC is content with the working of the resolutions, the Minutes of the PCC meeting should simply record that the Council gave consideration as to whether a fresh vote should be taken on the resolutions, pursuant to section 11, and concluded that no new vote was required.

Resolution C (which is shorthand for the resolution contained in the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod) is the resolution whereby a parish petitions for extended episcopal care, such as that provided by a provincial episcopal visitor or a suffragan bishop who does not ordain women. The Act of Synod provides that the working of any arrangements in place as a result of the petition must be reviewed at least once every five years; again, note that it is not that a fresh vote has to be taken – unless that is the wish of the PCC (not the archdeacon!).

Resolution C can only be considered if resolutions A and/or B have been passed by the PCC (Act of Synod, article 7.1). Therefore if a PCC decides that a fresh vote on resolutions A and B is required and those resolutions are rescinded, it follows that resolution C falls, and responsibility for episcopal ministrations reverts to the diocesan bishop from the PEV.

So that the PCC cannot be faulted by the archdeacon, the PCC secretary should ensure that the agenda circulated in advance of the meeting, to all members of the PCC, does contain an agenda item ‘To consider whether a fresh vote is required on resolutions A and B pursuant to section ll.l.f of the 1986 Measure.’