Parish administration

Parish administration

A lay minister and member of clergy sit and discuss calendar dates.

Running a church or parish is a big undertaking. We give thanks for all those who work so hard to manage the day to day running of a parish.

On this page, we point you in the direction of resources and support teams who can help you with everyday parish tasks and administration, including:

Recruitment and employment
APCMs and electoral rolls
Legal support
Parish Records
Diocesan Online Directory (CMS)
A Church Near You 

We also have separate dedicated sections on:

Statistics for Mission
Data protection and GDPR

Other useful links:

The Parish Resources
Church Support Hub
The Life Events Diary
 

Recruitment and employment

The Diocese's Human Resources team are here to provide expert advice and support to parishes around employment, and the managing of staff and volunteers.

To assist you, they have created a number of guidance packs that have been designed to help guide parishes through the process of recruitment and employment.

While great care has been taken in creating the documents, they are not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice. The Rochester Diocesan Society and Board of Finance cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.


Other useful links


Please do not hesitate to contact the team directly if you have more detailed questions, or if you feel more personalised guidance would be useful.

 

APCMs and Electoral Rolls


The necessary forms for Annual Parochial Church Meetings can be found on the Parish Resources website

Parishes should always use this site as their reference point for these forms, as it will be updated if requirements change at any point.

Don't forget to notify the Diocesan Office of any changes to your Deanery Synod representatives and parochial officers. This information is vital for other elections and keeping our database up to date.

Other useful links:

Electoral Rolls

Guidance on Church of England electoral rolls and the associated privacy notice can be found here:

If you need further assistance, please contact: Suzanne Rogers, Pastoral and Synodical Administrator: suzanne.rogers@rochester.anglican.org

 

Legal support

The legal team is available to support parishes to ensure their statutory legal requirements are met.

In the around 500 ecclesiastical and charitable trusts and parish properties are vested in the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) as a Diocesan Authority Custodian Trustee. The majority are excepted from registration with the Charity Commission.

For the great majority of these trusts, the Parochial Church Council (PCC), or the incumbent and churchwardens of the parish concerned, are the managing trustees and are responsible for the day-to-day management of the trust affairs and property; however the DBF’s consent is required for legal transactions. 

The Diocesan Board of Finance's approval will be required for the following:

  • Acquisitions or disposals, sale or lease, of property held under the provisions of the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956.
  • Sales or leases of property held under the Incumbents and Churchwardens (Trusts) Measure 1964 or specific trust deeds. 
  • Expenditure of proceeds of sale of the above. 
  • Applications to the Charity Commission for Schemes or Orders. 
  • Applications to the Charity Commission under sections 74 and 75 of the Charities Act 1993 (small charities provisions).
  • Release of capital, where allowed by the trust deed. 
  • Vesting of new trusts.

Parochial Church Councils, incumbents and churchwardens wishing to enter into any legal transaction involving trust or PCC property are advised to seek guidance from the Diocese's Legal Team, at an early stage in their planning, with regard to the provisions of the relevant trust deed, the PCC (Powers) Measure and the requirements of the Charities Act. 

They can also provide general advice and guidance to parochial officials on charities not vested with the Board upon which they have become ex-officio trustees by virtue of their ecclesiastical office. General advice is also given to those attempting to resolve problems with non-ecclesiastical charities.

 

Parish records

Our parishes have a long and rich history and church records are a unique and valuable record of the history and development of a parish. They are therefore of great importance for the church, the Diocese and the local community.

It is essential that the historic records are looked after properly and securely so that they can be preserved for future generations.  Incumbents and churchwardens are legally responsible for the records of a church and the Diocese has put in place a number of measures to help with the management of both historic and current records.

 
Guide to the Parish Record management
A guide to the Parish Record management - a document produced by Kent Archive and Local History Service giving advice on which records should be kept and for how long, as well as a comprehensive list of ‘retention schedules’ covering every record that might be produced
Archive Services
Under the terms of the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978 the Diocese works in partnership with both Kent County Council and Medway Council to preserve the historic records dating back to 1538. 
 
The Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre in Strood have been designated as Diocesan Record Offices by the Bishop. 
 
This means that most records which are over 100 years old have been transferred into the care of the relevant archive services where they can be properly catalogued, looked after in the right environmental conditions and made available to the general public.  For a list of which records are deposited at the centres see their websites and guides.
Records survey
The archive services carry out five yearly surveys of all the parishes in the Diocese to check which records are held where and to give any advice that is needed on the care and retention of historic records. 
Training sessions
Training sessions can be arranged for churchwardens and other church staff at the appropriate record office to give advice on historic records. If your parish is within the Medway Council borough boundaries, you should contact The Medway Archives Centre (MALSC) if not, please contact the Centre for Kentish Studies

 

Other useful links:

 

Diocesan Online Directory (CMS)

All clergy, lay ministers/workers and parish officers are able to request access to the Contact Management System - an online directory which allows you to search for people who hold roles within the Diocese, its parishes and other settings.

The following documents will help you register and use the system:

Register for a CMS login
CMS user guide

If you need any further assistance, please contact Iain Ambler, IT manager

 

A Church Near You

AChurchNearYou.com, is the Church of England's church-finder tool. It is hugely successful and receives more than 10 million page views a year – 80 per cent of these are from people visiting the site for the first time.

All of the 16,500 churches in the CofE have a page on the website - that includes your church! 

  • Churches can log in and edit these pages, adding photos, services and events and information about the life of the church. Follow the steps on our Editor Help Centre to claim your church’s page if you are not yet using the site.
  • Churches can also use the site as their main website for free. By following these simple steps, you can point your domain towards your A Church Near You page, so you can still use your existing URL to encourage people to find out more about your church. 
  • As an Editor, you also get access to all Church of England campaign material, hymn and music resources, as well as customisable videos to promote your events and encourage generous giving.

Other functions include the ability to add a gallery, news stories and news sheets and to see your analytics on your church's page, showing you how many people have visited your page this week, month and year when logged in.

For more help visit: