The Church Representation Rules, which are contained in Schedule 3 to the Synodical Government Measure 1969, as substituted by the Church Representation and Ministers Measure 2019, comprise the principal legislation relating to the democratic government of the Church of England. They extend to the Isle of Man subject to considerable modifications by virtue of the Church Act 1987 (an Act of Tynwald), as amended by the Church Representation and Ministers Measure (Isle of Man) 2020.

The text shown is that in force on 1 May 2020.


CHURCH REPRESENTATION RULES

Part 1 Church electoral roll Rules 1 to 9
Part 2 Parish governance Rule 11
Part 4 Diocesan synods Rules 29 to 45
Part 5 House of Laity of the General Synod Rules 46 to 56
Part 6 Appeals Rules 57 to 61
Part 7 Disqualification etc Rules 62 to 71
Part 8 Miscellaneous Rules 72 to 84
Part 9 Parish Governance Model Rules Rules M1 to M42
  Section A – Annual parochial church meeting Rules M1 to M14
  Section B – Parochial church council Rules M15 to M34
  Section C – Joint council Rules M37 to M42
Part 10 Forms  
Part 11 Index  



PART 1
CHURCH ELECTORAL ROLL

1 Compilation of the roll

(1) In every parish there must be a church electoral roll (referred to in these Rules as "the roll") on which the names of lay persons are entered in accordance with this Part of these Rules.

(2) A lay person is entitled to have his or her name on the roll of a parish if he or she —

(a) is baptised,

(b) is aged 16 or over (but see paragraph (7)),

(c) has made one of the following three declarations, and

(d) has duly applied for enrolment on Form 1.

(3) The first declaration is a declaration that the person —

(a) is a member of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with it, and

(b) is resident in the parish.

(4) The second declaration is a declaration that the person —

(a) is a member of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with it,

(b) is not resident in the parish, but

(c) has habitually attended public worship in the parish during the preceding six months.

(5) The third declaration is a declaration that the person —

(a) is a member in good standing of a Church which is not in communion with the Church of England but subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity,

(b) is also a member of the Church of England, and

(c) has habitually attended public worship in the parish during the preceding six months.

(6) A person who is entitled under this Rule to have his or her name on the roll of more than one parish is entitled to have his or her name on the roll of each of those parishes; but the following provisions specify purposes for which the person is required to choose one of those parishes —

(b) Rule 33(6) (additional members of diocesan synod nominated by bishop);

(d) Rule 50(8) (eligibility for election by diocesan electors);

(e) Rule M8(2) (eligibility for election as parochial representative of laity);

(f) Rule M15(6) or (7) (membership of PCC).

(7) Where a lay person, who is going to become 16 after a revision of the roll or the preparation of a new roll is complete but before the date of the annual parochial church meeting, duly applies for enrolment on Form 1, the enrolment may take effect on the person's 16th birthday.

(8) The roll of a parish must be kept and revised —

(a) by the PCC, or

(b) by the electoral roll officer under the direction of the PCC.

(9) Where a new parish is created by a pastoral scheme by the union of two or more former parishes, the roll of the new parish is in the first instance to consist of the rolls of the former parishes combined to form a single roll.

(10) In any other case where a new parish is created by a pastoral scheme, the roll of the new parish is in the first instance to consist of the name of every person who —

(a) on the date when the new parish comes into existence, has his or her name on the roll of a parish the whole or part of which forms part of the new parish, and

(b) is resident in the new parish or has habitually attended public worship there.

(11) The roll of a parish must, where practicable, specify the address of every person whose name is on it; but a failure to specify an address does not affect the validity of the entry.

(12) Where a person has provided an email address on Form 1, the roll must specify that email address.

(13) A copy of the roll of a parish must be made available for inspection, on a reasonable request being made to the PCC; and the copy made available for inspection must include every name entered on the roll but no other personal data.

2 Additions to the roll

(1) The name of a person who is entitled to have his or her name on the roll of a parish must, subject to these Rules, be added to the roll.

(2) If additions are made to the roll, the electoral roll officer must report them at the next meeting of the PCC.

(3) A list of the names added, but no other personal data, must be made available for inspection, on a reasonable request being made to the PCC.

3 Revision of the roll: notice

(1) The roll of a parish must be revised annually, except in a year in which a new roll is prepared (as to which, see Rules 6 and 7).

(2) Notice of the proposed revision must be given on Form 2 and displayed by or under the direction of the minister —

(a) in the case of the parish church or, where there is more than one church in the parish, each of those churches, on or near the principal door, and

(b) in the case of each building in the parish licensed for public worship, in a location readily visible to members of the congregation.

(3) The notice under paragraph (2) must remain on display for at least 14 days before the proposed revision begins.

(4) In a case where the minister is absent or incapacitated by illness or for some other reason or where there is nobody who is the minister within the meaning of these Rules (see Rule 83(1)), the minister's function under this Rule is to be carried out by —

(a) the vice-chair of the PCC, or

(b) if there is not a vice-chair or the vice-chair is unable or unwilling to act, the secretary of the PCC or some other person appointed by the PCC.

4 Revision of the roll: preparation

(1) On each revision of the roll of a parish —

(a) every addition to the roll since the previous revision (or, if there has not yet been a revision of the roll, since the formation of the roll) must be reviewed and any further additions must be made as necessary, and

(b) a person's name must be removed from the roll in each of the following cases.

(2) The first case is where the person has died.

(3) The second case is where the person has become a clerk in Holy Orders.

(4) The third case is where the person has stated in writing the wish to have his or her name removed.

(5) The fourth case is where the person was not entitled to have his or her name entered on the roll at the time it was entered.

(6) The fifth case is where the person —

(a) has ceased to reside in the parish,

(b) has not continued to habitually attend public worship in the parish during any period of six months, and

(c) has not been prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause.

(7) The sixth case is where the person —

(a) is not resident in the parish,

(b) has not habitually attended public worship in the parish during the preceding six months, and

(c) has not been prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause.

(8) The name of a person must not be removed from the roll in the fourth, fifth or sixth case unless the PCC has taken reasonable steps to establish the relevant facts.

(9) The removal of a person's name from the roll under these Rules does not affect any right the person may have, or may acquire, to have his or her name entered again.

(10) The revision of the roll of a parish must be completed at least 15 days, but no more than 28 days, before the annual parochial church meeting.

5 Publication of revised roll

(1) After the completion of a revision of the roll of a parish under Rule 4, the PCC must —

(a) publish the roll in such form (whether electronic or otherwise) as it decides, and

(b) make a copy of the roll available for inspection, on a reasonable request being made.

(2) The period for which the revised roll is published under paragraph (1)(a) must be at least 14 days.

(3) The roll as published, and the copy made available for inspection, must include every name entered on the roll but no other personal data.

(4) A name may not be added to or removed from the roll between the completion of the revision of the roll and the conclusion of the annual parochial church meeting, except in so far as is necessary —

(a) to correct an omission or other error, or

(b) for complying with Rule 1(2)(b) and (7) (persons becoming 16).

6 Preparation of new roll: notice

(1) Notice that a new roll for a parish is to be prepared must be given on Form 3 and displayed by or under the direction of the minister —

(a) in the case of the parish church or, where there is more than one church in the parish, each of those churches, on or near the principal door, and

(b) in the case of a building in the parish licensed for public worship, in a location readily visible to members of the congregation.

(2) The notice under paragraph (1) —

(a) must be put on display at least two months before the annual parochial church meeting in every sixth year beginning with 2025, and

(b) must remain on display for at least 14 days.

(3) The preparation of a new roll for a parish —

(a) must not begin before the date on which the notice is displayed under paragraph (1), and

(b) must be completed at least 15 days, but no more than 28 days, before the annual parochial church meeting.

(4) At every service held on each of the two Sundays in the period of 14 days beginning with the date on which the notice is displayed under paragraph (1), the person conducting the service must inform the congregation of the preparation of the new roll.

(5) In the case of a church in which no service is held on either of the two Sundays in that period, at every service held on the first Sunday after the date on which the notice is displayed under paragraph (1), the person conducting the service must inform the congregation of the preparation of the new roll.

(6) In a case where the minister is absent or incapacitated by illness or for some other reason or where there is nobody who is the minister within the meaning of these Rules (see Rule 83(1)), the minister's function under this Rule is to be carried out by —

(a) the vice-chair of the PCC, or

(b) if there is not a vice-chair or the vice-chair is unable or unwilling to act, the secretary of the PCC or some other person appointed by the PCC.

7 Preparation of new roll: process

(1) The PCC of each parish must take reasonable steps to inform every person whose name is on the roll of the parish —

(a) that a new roll is being prepared, and

(b) that, if the person wishes to have his or her name entered on the new roll, the person must apply for enrolment.

(2) The duty under paragraph (1) does not apply in the case of a person whose name would be removed under Rule 4 if the roll were being revised; but before deciding that a person comes within the fourth, fifth or sixth case under that Rule, the PCC must take reasonable steps to establish the relevant facts.

(3) On the preparation of a new roll, the name of each person who is entitled to have his or her name entered under Rule 1 must be entered on the roll; and a fresh application on Form 1 is required from each person whose name is already on the roll.

(4) A person whose name is already on the roll is not disqualified from having his or her name on the new roll merely because he or she has not complied with the condition in Rule 1(4)(c) or (5)(c) (habitual attendance at public worship), if the person was prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause.

(5) In a case where paragraph (4) applies, the application on Form 1 must briefly state why the person did not comply with the condition in question.

8 Publication of new roll

(1) After the completion of a new roll under Rule 7, the PCC must —

(a) publish the roll in such form (whether electronic or otherwise) as it decides, and

(b) make a copy of the roll available for inspection, on a reasonable request being made.

(2) The period for which the new roll is published under paragraph (1)(a) must be at least 14 days.

(3) The roll as published, and the copy made available for inspection, must include every name entered on the roll but no other personal data.

(4) A name may not be added to or removed from the roll in the 14 days beginning with the day on which the roll is published under paragraph (1)(a), except in so far as is necessary —

(a) to correct an omission or other error, or

(b) for complying with Rule 1(2)(b) and (7) (persons becoming 16).

(5) The new roll takes effect on its publication under this Rule (at which point the previous roll ceases to have effect).

9 Boundary changes

(1) On an alteration of the boundaries of parishes, the PCC of each parish from which an area is transferred must ask each person resident in that area whose name is on the roll of the parish whether the person wishes to have his or her name transferred to the roll of the other parish.

(2) Where a person answers in the affirmative —

(a) the PCC must remove the person's name from the roll for its parish and inform the PCC of the parish in which the person now resides, and

(b) the PCC of that parish must enter the person's name on its roll without requiring him or her to apply for enrolment.

PART 2
PARISH GOVERNANCE

11 Model Rules

The Rules in Part 9 apply to each parish.

PART 4
DIOCESAN SYNODS

Membership

29 Composition

(1) A diocesan synod consists of —

(a) a house of bishops,

(b) a house of clergy, and

(c) a house of laity.

(2) The bishop of the diocese is the president of the diocesan synod.

30 House of bishops

The members of the house of bishops of a diocesan synod are —

(a) the bishop of the diocese, and

(c) such other persons in episcopal orders who work in the diocese as the bishop of the diocese may nominate with the agreement of the archbishop of the province.

31 House of clergy

(1) The ex officio members of the house of clergy of the diocesan synod are —

(a) the Archdeacon of Man,

(b) the Vicar General of the diocese (if in Holy Orders),

(c) the canons of the cathedral church of St German,

(d) the proctor elected from the diocese to the Lower House of Convocation of the province, and

(e) the chair of the diocesan advisory committee (if in Holy Orders).

(2) The other members of the house of clergy of the diocesan synod are every clerk in Holy Orders —

(a) who is beneficed or licensed to officiate in the diocese,

(b) who is nominated by the bishop under Rule 33,

(c) who holds permission to officiate in the diocese and is elected in accordance with Rule 33A, or

(d) who is made a member by virtue of a scheme under Rule 33C.

32 House of laity

(1) The ex officio members of the house of laity of the diocesan synod are —

(a) the Vicar General of the diocese (if not in Holy Orders),

(b) the person elected from the diocese as a member of the House of Laity of the General Synod; and

(c) the chair of the diocesan advisory committee (if not in Holy Orders).

(2) The other members of the house of laity of the diocesan synod are —

(a) any lay person nominated by the bishop under Rule 33,

(b) the parochial representatives of the laity elected to the synod in accordance with Rule 33B,

(c) every deaconess and full-time lay worker who is licensed by the bishop to work in the diocese, and

(d) any lay person who is made a member by virtue of a scheme under Rule 33C.

33 Power of bishop to nominate members

(1) The bishop of a diocese may nominate up to ten additional members of the diocesan synod.

(2) A clerk in Holy Orders who is nominated under this Rule becomes a member of the house of clergy of the diocesan synod.

(3) A lay person who is nominated under this Rule becomes a member of the house of laity of the diocesan synod.

(4) A person who becomes a member of a diocesan synod under this Rule has the same rights, and is subject to the same requirements, as an elected member.

(6) Where a person nominated under this Rule is a lay person who is on the roll of more than one parish, the person must choose the PCC of which he or she is to be a member.

33A Election of certain members of the house of clergy

(1) A clerk referred to in Rule 31(2)(c) is elected, by and from the clerks in Holy Orders holding permission to officiate in the diocese, in such manner as the bishop may approve.

(2) One clerk of that description is to be so elected for every ten (or part of ten) clerks of that description.

(3) A clerk referred to in Rule 31(2)(c)

(a) is elected in 2021 and every third year thereafter, and

(b) holds office for a term of three years beginning with 1 September following the date when the election takes place.

33B Election of parochial representatives of the laity

(1) The parochial representatives of the laity on the diocesan synod —

(a) are elected in 2021 and every third year thereafter by the annual meeting of each parish in the diocese, and

(b) hold office for a term of three years beginning with 1 September following the date of their election.

(2) The diocesan synod must by resolution determine the numbers to be so elected from the several parishes, and those numbers must be related to the number of names on the roll of each parish as at the date of the annual meeting at which the election takes place.

(3) A resolution under paragraph (2) does not have effect in relation to an election unless it is passed before 1 January in the year in which the election takes place.

(4) The secretary of the diocesan synod must notify the secretary of each PCC of a resolution under paragraph (2) as soon as may be after it is passed.

33C Scheme for representation of mission initiatives

(1) Where a bishop's mission order is in force, the standing committee may make a scheme to provide for the representation on the diocesan synod of such of the persons to whom the order relates as are specified in or under the scheme.

(2) The standing committee, in making a scheme under this rule, must have regard to —

(a) the need to make due provision for the representation of the worshipping community involved in the mission initiative, and

(b) the governance of the initiative (which may, for example, take the form of a charitable body of some kind).

(3) A scheme under this rule does not have effect unless it is approved by the diocesan synod.

44 Procedure

(1) A diocesan synod must make standing orders.

(2) The standing orders must include provision —

(a) for the bishop of the diocese not to be required to chair meetings where the standing orders make other provision in that respect;

(b) for a member of the house of clergy to be elected as chair of that house and a member of the house of laity to be elected as chair of that house;

(c) for there to be a secretary;

(d) for a specified number of meetings to be held each year, with the minimum being two;

(e) for a meeting to be held if at least a specified number of members request that;

(f) for the bishop of the diocese to have a second, casting vote where there is an equality of votes in the house of bishops;

(g) for enabling the bishop of the diocese to require his or her opinion on a matter to be recorded in the minutes;

(h) for there to be a standing committee of the synod which has such membership as the standing orders may provide and —

(i) the functions exercisable by it under section 4(4) of this Measure, and

(ii) such other functions as may be conferred by the standing orders or by or under this or any other Measure or by or under Canon.

(3) The standing orders must also include provision —

(a) that, subject as follows, the assent of the synod is given only if each of the three houses gives its assent;

(b) that if the bishop of the diocese so directs on a question other than one on an Article 8 matter referred to the synod, the assent of the house of bishops is given only if the majority of the members who give assent includes the bishop;

(c) that a question relating only to the conduct of business is to be decided by the votes of the members present and voting;

(d) that any other question is to be decided by the votes of the members present and voting (with the assent of each of the three houses presumed), unless the bishop of the diocese or any ten members require there to be a separate vote by each house;

(e) that if the house of clergy and the house of laity are in favour of an Article 8 matter referred to the synod, it is deemed to be approved for the purposes of Article 8 of the Constitution.

(4) The standing orders may include provision for such other matters consistent with the provision required under paragraphs (2) and (3) as the diocesan synod decides.

(5) The provision which may be made under paragraph (4) includes provision to enable the chair of the house of clergy and the chair of the house of laity of the diocesan synod each to continue to hold office as such until the election of his or her successor as chair.

(7) The registrar of the diocese is the registrar of the diocesan synod.

(7A) The secretary of the diocesan synod is the diocesan electoral registration officer.

(8) A reference in this Rule to an Article 8 matter referred to a diocesan synod is a reference to a matter referred by the General Synod to that diocesan synod under Article 8 of the Constitution.

45 Casual vacancies

(1) A casual vacancy among the parochial representatives elected to the diocesan synod must be filled as soon as practicable after the vacancy occurs.

(2) Where the annual meeting is not due to be held within the two months following the occurrence of the vacancy, the vacancy must be filled by the election by the PCC of a person who is qualified to be elected as a parochial representative.

(3) The secretary of the PCC must notify the secretary of the diocesan synod of —

(a) the election of a parochial representative of the laity to fill a casual vacancy on the synod, and

(b) the name, address and email address (if any) of the representative so elected.