Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956

as it has effect in the Isle of Man

Reproduced by permission of the Treasury of the Isle of Man
© Crown copyright reserved

The Measure was first extended to the Isle of Man by the Church Act 1960 (of Tynwald). It now extends by virtue of the Parochial Church Councils and Accounts Measure (Isle of Man) 2010.

Text as at 1st January 2011


1. Definitions
2. General functions of council
3. Council to be body corporate
3A. Employment of members and other contractual services
4. Powers vested in council as successor to certain other bodies
5. Holding of property for ecclesiastical purposes: educational schemes
6. Supplementary provisions relating to certain property
7. Miscellaneous powers of council
8. Accounts of the council
9. Powers of bishop
10. Short title, commencement, extent and repeals

GENERAL NOTE Commencement: the Measure came into force in the Isle of Man on 15th March 1960.


1. Definitions

In this Measure —

"Council" means a parochial church council;
"Diocesan Authority" means the Diocesan Board of Finance or any existing or future body appointed by the [Diocesan Synod] to act as trustees of diocesan trust property;
"Minister" and "Parish" have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the [Church Representation Rules, as they have effect in the Isle of Man];
"Relevant date" means the first day of July, 1921.
["permanent trusts" means any trust of property which is held subject to a restriction on its being expended without distinction between capital and income.]

NOTE S.1: "Diocesan Synod" substituted for "Diocesan Conference" by Synodical Government Measure 1969 s.4(7). "Church Representation Rules, as they have effect in the Isle of Man" substituted, and definition of "permanent trusts" inserted, by PCCAM (IoM) 2010 s.1(1).


2. General functions of council

[(1) It shall be the duty of the [minister] and the parochial church council to consult together on matters of general concern and importance to the parish.

(2) The functions of parochial church councils shall include -

(a) co-operation with the [minister] in promoting in the parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical;
(b) the consideration and discussions of matters concerning the Church of England or any other matters of religious or public interest, but not the declaration of the doctrine of the Church on any question;
(c) making known and putting into effect any provision made by the diocesan synod . . . , but without prejudice to the powers of the council on any particular matter;
(d) giving advice to the diocesan synod . . . on any matter referred to the council;
(e) raising such matters as the council consider appropriate with the diocesan synod . . .

(3) In the exercise of its functions the parochial church council shall take into consideration any expression of opinion by any parochial church meeting.]


NOTE S.2 substituted by Synodical Government Measure 1969 s.6; subs.(1) & (2): words in square brackets substituted by Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 1983 s.5; words omitted by PCCAM (IoM) 2010 s.1(1).


3. Council to be body corporate

Every council shall be a body corporate by the name of the parochial church council of the parish for which it is appointed and shall have perpetual succession. Any act of the council may be signified by an instrument executed pursuant to a resolution of the council and under the hands or if an instrument under seal is required under the hands and seals of the chairman presiding and two other members of the council present at the meeting at which such resolution is passed.

[3A.Employment of members and other contractual services

(1) Subject to subsection (3), a parochial church council may enter into a paid contract of employment or other contract with one or more members of the council or one or more connected persons to provide such services to or on behalf of the Council as may be specified in the contract, provided that the conditions specified in subsection (2) are fulfilled.

(2) The conditions referred to in subsection (1) are that -

(a) before entering into the contract the council is satisfied that it would be in the best interests of the council for the services to be provided by the person concerned for the amount, or maximum amount, of remuneration set out in the contract;
(b) the total number of any persons employed at any time under subsection (1) and any person who is connected to any such person constitute a minority of the members of the council;
(c) the terms of the contract, including the remuneration paid, are set out in an agreement in writing between the council and the member concerned; and
(d) the amount or maximum amount of the remuneration does not exceed what is reasonable in the circumstances for the provision by that member of the services in question.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to services provided by a person in that person's capacity as a member of the council.

(4) A person is a connected person for the purposes of this section if that person is -

(a) a child, parent, grandchild, brother or sister of a member of the council, or
(b) the spouse or civil partner of a member or of any person falling within paragraph (a),

and "connected" is to be construed accordingly.]


NOTE S.3A inserted by Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2014 s.5(2).


4. Powers vested in council as successor to certain other bodies

(1) Subject to the provisions of any Act or Measure passed after the relevant date and to anything lawfully done under such provisions, the council of every parish shall have —

(i) The like powers duties and liabilities as, immediately before the relevant date, the vestry of such parish had with respect to the affairs of the church except as regards the election of churchwardens and sidesmen and as regards the administration of ecclesiastical charities but including the power of presentation to the benefice of such parish if the right to present thereto was vested in or in trust for the parishioners and the power of making any voluntary church rate.
(ii) The like powers duties and liabilities as, immediately before the relevant date, the churchwardens of such parish had with respect to —
(a) The financial affairs of the church including the collection and administration of all moneys raised for church purposes and the keeping of accounts in relation to such affairs and moneys;
(b) The care maintenance preservation and insurance of the fabric of the church and the goods and ornaments thereof;
[(c) The care and maintenance of any churchyard, not being a parish burial ground within the meaning of the Burials Act 1986 (an Act of Tynwald)].
Provided that nothing herein contained shall affect the property of the churchwardens in the goods and ornaments of the church or their powers duties and liabilities with respect to visitations. . . .

(2) All enactments in any Act whether general or local or personal relating to any powers duties or liabilities transferred to the council from the vestry churchwardens or church trustees as the case may be shall subject to the provisions of this Measure and so far as circumstances admit be construed as if any reference therein to the vestry or the churchwardens or church trustees referred to the council to which such powers duties or liabilities have been transferred and the said enactments shall be construed with such modifications as may be necessary for carrying this Measure into effect.

(3) Where any property is applicable to purposes connected with any such powers duties or liabilities as aforesaid, any deed or instrument which could be or could have been made or executed in relation to such property by a vestry, or by churchwardens or church trustees, may be made or executed by the council of the parish concerned. . . . for the use of any place specified in it for such public entertainment as may be so specified, on such terms and conditions and subject to such restrictions as may be so specified.


NOTE S.4: subss.(1)(iii) and (4) omitted, and subs.(1)(ii)(c) substituted, by PCCAM (IoM) 2010 s.1(1).


5. Holding of property for ecclesiastical purposes: educational schemes

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Measure, the council of every parish shall have power to acquire (whether by way of gift or otherwise) any property real or personal —

(a) For any ecclesiastical purpose affecting the parish or any part thereof;
(b) For any purpose in connection with schemes (hereinafter called "educational schemes") for providing facilities for the spiritual moral and physical training of persons residing in or near the parish.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Measure and of the general law and to the provisions of any trusts affecting any such property, the council shall have power to manage, administer and dispose of any property acquired under this section.

(3) A council shall have power, in connection with any educational scheme, to constitute or participate in the constitution of a body of managers or trustees or a managing committee consisting either wholly or partly of persons appointed by the council, and may confer on any such body or committee such functions in regard to the implementation of the scheme, and such functions relating to property held for the purposes of the scheme, as the council thinks expedient.


NOTE S.5: subss.(4) and (5) omitted by PCCAM (IoM) 2010 s.1(1).


6. Supplementary provisions relating to certain property

(1) After the commencement of this Measure, a council shall not acquire any interest in land (other than a short lease as hereinafter defined) or in any personal property to be held on permanent trusts, without the consent of the diocesan authority.

(2) Where, at or after the commencement of this Measure, a council holds or acquires an interest in land (other than a short lease as hereinafter defined) or any interest in personal property to be held on permanent trusts, such interest shall be vested in the diocesan authority subject to all trusts, debts and liabilities affecting the same, and all persons concerned shall make or concur in making such transfers (if any) as are requisite for giving effect to the provisions of this subsection.

[(2A) Where a council holds, acquires or administers —

(a) any interest mentioned in subsection (2), or
(b) any fund held on trust for any ecclesiastical purpose, which does not fall within paragraph (a) but which exceeds the prescribed amount in value,

the council shall inform the diocesan authority in writing of that interest or fund and, in the case of an interest of fund held on trust, of the terms of the trust.

(2B) In subsection (2A)(b) "the prescribed amount" means £5,000 or such higher amount as may be prescribed by order made by the diocesan authority and approved by the Diocesan Synod.]

(3) Where any property is vested in the diocesan authority pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, the council shall not sell, lease, let, exchange, charge or take any legal proceedings with respect to the property without the consent of the authority; but save as aforesaid, nothing in this section shall affect the powers of the council in relation to the management, administration or disposition of any such property.

(4) Where any property is vested in the diocesan authority pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, the council shall keep the authority indemnified in respect of:

(a) all liabilities subject to which the property is vested in the authority or which may thereafter be incident to the property;
(b) all rates, taxes, insurance premiums and other outgoings of whatever nature which may from time to time be payable in respect of the property;
(c) all costs, charges and expenses incurred by the authority in relation to the acquisition or insurance of the property or as trustee thereof;
(d) all costs, proceedings, claims and demands in respect of any of the matters hereinbefore mentioned. . . .

(6) In this section the expression "short lease" means a lease for a term not exceeding one year, and includes any tenancy from week to week, from month to month, from quarter to quarter, or from year to year.

(7) Any question as to whether personal property is to be held on permanent trusts shall be determined for the purposes of this section by a person appointed by the bishop.


NOTE S.6: subss.(2A) and (2B) inserted, and subs.(5) omitted, by PCCAM (IoM) 2010 s.1(1).


7. Miscellaneous powers of council

(1) The council of every parish shall have the following powers in addition to any powers conferred by the Constitution or otherwise by this Measure:—

(i) Power to frame an annual budget of moneys required for the maintenance of the work of the Church in the parish and otherwise and to take such steps as they think necessary for the raising collecting and allocating of such moneys;
(ii) Power to make levy and collect a voluntary church rate for any purpose connected with the affairs of the church including the administrative expenses of the council and the costs of any legal proceedings;
(iii) Power jointly with the minister to appoint and dismiss the parish clerk . . . or any persons performing or assisting to perform the duties of parish clerk . . . and to determine their salaries and the conditions of the tenure of their offices or of their employment but subject to the rights of any persons holding the said offices at the appointed day;
(iv) Power jointly with the minister to determine the objects to which all moneys to be given or collected in church shall be allocated . . .;
(v) Power to make representations to the bishop with regard to any matter affecting the welfare of the church in the parish.

[(2) The objects referred to in subsection (1)(iv) may be determined either generally or by reference to particular occasions or occasions of a particular class.

(3) Periodical payments made by standing order, direct debit or any other similar method of payment to a council in lieu of or in addition to money given in church, not being payments intended for a specific object, shall be treated for the purpose of subsection (1)(iv) as moneys given or collected in church.]


NOTE S.7: subs.(1): words omitted in para.(iii) by PCCAM (IoM) 2010 s.1(1); words omitted in para.(iv) by Church of England (Legal Aid and Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 1988 Sch.3; subss.(2) and (3) inserted by Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2014 s.5(3) (modified by Church (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure (Isle of Man) 2015 Sch.1 para.1). As to parish clerks etc., see Canon E3; as to collections, see Canon B17A.


8. Accounts of the council

[(1) Every council shall cause —

(a) its accounts, including the accounts of all trusts administered by it, for each year ending on 31st December, and
(b) a statement of the funds and property, if any, remaining in the hands of the council at that date,

to be made up and examined in accordance with subsection (2).

(2) The accounts and statement referred to in subsection (1) shall be examined by an independent person who—

(a) is an accountant (within the meaning of the Interpretation Act 1976 (an Act of Tynwald));
(b) holds a qualification prescribed by regulations under section 11(1)(c) of the Charities Registration Act 1989 (an Act of Tynwald); or
(c) is for the time being approved by the bishop for the purpose of examining the accounts and statement in question.

(3) The council shall —

(a) present to the annual parochial church meeting of the parish —
(i) its accounts, including the accounts of all trusts administered by it, for the year ending on the 31st December immediately preceding the meeting, and
(ii) a statement of the funds and property, if any, remaining in the hands of the council at that date; and
(b) not later than 7 days before the annual parochial church meeting cause a copy of the examined accounts and statement to be published and affixed for a period of at least 14 days on or near the principal door of every church and other building licensed for public worship in the parish, and
(c) not later than 14 days after the annual parochial church meeting send a copy of the examined accounts and statement to the diocesan authority.

NOTE S.8 substituted by PCCAM (IoM) 2010 s.1(1).


9. Powers of bishop

(1) The bishop may subject to the provisions of this Measure and the Constitution make rules for carrying this Measure into effect within the diocese.

(2) If any act required by this Measure to be done by any person is not done within such time as the bishop may consider reasonable it may be done by or under the authority of the bishop.

(3) In the event of a council and a minister being unable to agree as to any matter in which their agreement or joint action is required under the provisions of this Measure, such matter shall be dealt with or determined in such manner as the bishop may direct.

(4) During a vacancy in a diocesan see the powers conferred upon the bishop by this section may be exercised by the guardian of the spiritualities.

10. Short title, commencement, extent and repeals

(1) This Measure may be cited as the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956.


NOTE S.10: subss.(2), (3) and (4) omitted by PCCAM (IoM) 2010 s.1(1).


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