The East Marshland Benefice Council
Benefice Council Scheme
The East Marshland Benefice (hereinafter The Benefice) consists of the parishes of Terrington St John, Tilney All Saints, Tilney St Lawrence, Wiggenhall St Germans with St Mary and Islington and Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalene (hereinafter collectively The Parishes) in the Diocese of Ely
Church Representation Rule 19 provides that, where there are two or more parishes within the area of a single benefice, the annual meetings of parishioners or the special meetings of the parochial church councils of the parishes may make a scheme to provide for the establishment of a Benefice council and delegate specific functions of the parochial church councils to the new council
The Vicar of The Benefice and the Parochial Church Councils of The Parishes (hereinafter The PCCs) have resolved for the establishment of a council known as a Benefice Council (hereinafter The Benefice Council), the role of which is to take on delegated responsibilities from The PCCs for all decisions appertaining to the mission and ministry functions of The PCCs
NOW IN CONSIDERATION THEREOF, We make the following provision:
- The Benefice Council
A Benefice Council will be constituted which shall meet for the purpose of consulting together on matters to do with Mission and Ministry of the Benefice, the Benefice Council to be called “The East Marshland Benefice Council”
“Mission and Ministry” shall mean the duty in section 2 (2)(a) of the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956 to cooperate with theVicar in promoting in the Parishes the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenicalIn case of a dispute, the decision as to whether or not a matter falls within the remit of Mission and Ministry shall be made by the Vicar in consultation with, and with the concurrence of, the Archdeacon of Huntingdon and Wisbech.
- Delegation of Powers
The PCCs have resolved to delegate all matters pertaining to Mission and Ministry to The Benefice Council.For the avoidance of doubt, the Church service rotas shall be within the remit of The Benefice Council solely.
In carrying out these duties, The Benefice Council may, by majority vote, commit The Parishes to support one or more Mission and Ministry projects in any one year provided that the Council may not spend more than £500 in any one financial year. Should the cumulative spend exceed £500 in any one fiscal year, authority for the excess spend will require the authority of The PCCs.
- Not within the remit of the Benefice Council
However, for the avoidance of doubt, the following matters are not within the remit of the Benefice Council.1. Any matters relating to matters (including finance) pertaining to any of the individual church buildings of The Parishes;
2. Any financial matters that cumulatively exceed £500 in any one financial year;
3. The amount of Benefice Share to be paid to the Diocese;
4. Any matter not permitted to be delegated according to the Church Represnation Rules in force from time to time.
- The Benefice Administrator
The Benefice Council may appoint a Benefice Administrator to carry out such administrative tasks as may be required to be done on the behalf of the Benefice Council.
- Membership of the Council
The following shall be members of The Benefice Council by reason of their office1. The Vicar and any Clergy or Readers licensed to The Benefice or The Parishes
2. The Churchwardens of The Parishes
3. The Benefice Administrator (if there is one and provided he or she be a lay member of a PCC)
In the event of one of The Parishes having one (or no Churchwarden, the PCC shall elect one person from its own number (respectively upto twopersons) to represent it on The Benefice Council. If for some reason, a Churchwarden is unable to be present (s)he may send a delegate in his/her place.
In addition, The Benefice Council shall comprise the treasurers of the Parishes (or a person appointed by the appropriate PCC from its own number to take the place of its treasurer)and up to two co-opted members, chosen by the members of the Benefice Council by a simple majority from the lay members of the PCCs.
The business of the Benefice Council shall be decided by a majority vote of the members present. Each member will be entitled to a single vote, except for the Chair who, solely in the event of a tied vote will have one further vote.
- The Benefice Council will meet for a minimum of three times per year, though it is envisaged that it should ideally meet at least six times a year.
- The Vicar shall be Chair of the Benefice Council.
- A Vice-Chair, Secretary (unless the Benefice Administrator wishes to assume the role) and Treasurer of the Benefice Council shall be appointed by members of the Benefice Council from amongst its number, at the first Benefice Council meeting following the last of the Annual Parochial Church Meetings (hereinafter APCM) of The Parishes. Minutes of Benefice Council meetings must be recorded, and circulated to the Secretaries of The PCCs.
- One third of the members of the Benefice Council shall be required to be present to form a quorum.
- The Chair may at any time call a meeting of the Benefice Council. Ifhe refuses or neglects to do so within 7 days after a requisition for the purpose, signed by not less than one third of the members of the Benefice Council, has been presented to him, those members may forthwith convene a meeting.
- Not less than 7 days before the meeting, a notice thereof specifyingthe time and place of the meeting signed by or on behalf of the Secretary shall be posted or delivered to every member of theBenefice Council. Such notice shall contain the agenda of the meeting including any motion or other business proposed by any member of the team council of which notice has been received by the Secretary.
- If any two persons from Chair, Vice Chair or Secretary consider that a convened meeting shall be postponed, notice shall be given to every member of the Benefice Council specifying a reconvened time and place within 14 days of the postponed meeting.
- Three days notice is required to convene an emergency meeting, which shall be defined as a meeting to decide a matter that cannot wait until normal notice has been given.
- Meetings may be adjourned.
- Audited accounts of the financial dealings of the Benefice Council must be presented and approved by the meeting of The Benefice Council, ahead of the first APCM of The Parishes and must be available for inspection by The PCCs.
- During a vacancy in the Benefice or the incapacity of the Vicar, the Rural Dean will take the place of the Vicar for the purposes of this Scheme or the Archdeacon or his delegate if there be no Rural Dean.
This Scheme shall come into operation upon the first day of the month following the date that it has been approved by the bishop’s council and standing committee of the Diocesan Synod.
This instrument shall cease to have effect on any new Parish being joined to the Benefice or ceasing to comprise the Benefice or at the resolution of any PCC with at least three quarters of the membership present and voting.