Benefice of Bethersden with High Halden and Woodchurch

Know God, Show His Love, Spread His Word

  • 2 Garden Close
  • Woodchurch
  • Ashford
  • TN26 3NX

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The Annual Church Meetings are, as the plural indicates, more than one meeting.  They are, in fact, two quite separate and distinct meetings: the Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.   They will be taking place as follows:

Tuesday                10th April           7.15pm                All Saints Woodchurch
Wednesday          18th April           7.30pm                St Mary’s High Halden
Wednesday          25th April           7.30pm                St Margaret’s Bethersden

Annual Parish Meeting

The Annual Parish Meeting is separate from the Annual Parochial Church Meeting of the church, though the two are held on the same day.  The main purpose of the Annual Parish Meeting is to choose two churchwardens.  All candidates for the position of churchwarden should be proposed and seconded before the meeting, and they need to sign the nomination paper to say they are willing to serve as churchwarden and are not disqualified from being appointed.

Candidates must be baptised and appear on the church electoral roll.  They must also be actual communicants, over 21 years old, and not be disqualified under the Churchwardens Measure.  Nomination papers must be received by the Rector before the commencement of the meeting.

The people entitled to attend the Annual Parish Meeting and vote are those whose names appear on the church electoral roll, and those who live in the parish and whose names are on the register of local government electors.

Annual Parochial Church Meeting

Attendance and the Church Electoral Roll
Only people whose names are on the church electoral roll can be at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM).  The APCM is not a public meeting.  Those who wish to vote at the APCM must make sure that their names are on the church electoral roll.  A copy of the roll is displayed in the churches.
Those who wish to have their names added to the electoral roll must fill out a form and return it by the required date.  Forms are available in our churches.

To be on the church electoral roll, people must be baptised and at least 16 years old.  They must either live in the parish or have worshipped in the church regularly for at least six months.  They must also be members of the Church of England, or of a church that is in communion with the Church of England, or of a church which believes in the Holy Trinity, provided that they are prepared to declare that they are members of the Church of England.

Candidates for the Parochial Church Council
Certain people are by law members of the Parochial Church Council (PCC).  They are: all ministers licensed to the parish, the churchwardens, and those who are members of the Deanery Synod and the Diocesan Synod.  In addition there are elected members.  The number of names that appear on the electoral roll determines the number of elected representatives who may serve on the PCC:

9 All Saints Woodchurch
6 St Mary’s High Halden
9 St Margaret’s Bethersden

Candidates for the PCC should have been on the electoral roll for at least six months (those under 18 years old should be on the electoral roll, but six months is not necessary).  They should also be over 16 years old, agree to be appointed, should normally have been confirmed, and should have received communion at least three times in the previous year.
Those who want to stand for election should be proposed by someone else on the electoral roll.  If the number of candidates is no more than the number of places to be filled, the Rector simply declares that all the candidates are elected.  If there are more candidates than there are places to be filled, there are three ways to conduct the election: by a simple show of hands; by using signed voting papers, if one or more people object to a show of hands; or by secret ballot, if 10% of the people present want this.  If a secret ballot is held, voting papers should be numbered, and a record made showing who is issued with each voting paper.  In this case, voting papers are not signed.
Meetings of the PCC are held every other month.  In addition there are meetings of sub committees of the three PCCs in the intervening months.

First Meeting of the new PCC
The first meeting of the new PCC immediately follows the APCM, usually with the sole purpose of appointing the PCC secretary, treasurer and electoral roll officer. 

Your Church Needs You!


If you would like to stand for election to the PCC
or the post of churchwarden,
we’d love to hear from you.
To find out more, please get in touch with
Rev’d. Sue Wharton, Rev’d. Chris Denyer
or one of the churchwardens.