It’s important to agree certain policies as a PCC. This will help you ensure that you have the processes in place to manage potential issues, and that you’ve agreed as a Council how you will do this. The policies that you will need will depend on your situation, but here are some of the common ones:
Policies relating to Safeguarding:
The Church of England is committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of everyone within our church community. It’s important that parishes give due focus to this important area, ensuring that everyone in the Church community is kept safe whilst engaged with the Church’s activities and services. All PCCs should have a safeguarding policy, which will set out the church’s arrangements for doing this effectively. You’ll find resources to help you on your Diocesan website, or on the National Church’s Safeguarding pages.
Policies relating to the operation of the PCC:
A conflict of interest policy is designed to ensure that the discussions and decisions of any group of Trustees (in this case, the PCC) are not influenced by hidden loyalties or factors that are not known to all members. Here’s a sample policy that you might find helpful as a basis for constructing your own.
You may not get many complaints, and most of those that you do receive can be settled informally. However, it is essential that you have a complaints policy so that people know how to complain if they wish to do so. A regulator, such as the Charity Commission or the Fundraising Regulator, will expect PCC to have a complaints policy. If someone complains to them about your church, they will expect that complainant to have first followed the process set out in your policy. Our sample policy can help you create your policy, and it also clarifies the differences between formal complaints about clergy and readers and about other matters to do with the church
Policies relating to the PCC’s money and investments:
All PCCs should have a reserves policy, and any PCCs using Accruals accounts and following the Charity SORP must have a reserves policy. Whether you’ve got lots of cash spare, or are struggling month to month, it’s important to consider what is appropriate. Our guide to reserves policies helps you think through both the practical and theological implications.
It’s good practice to have a Legacy Policy, and to communicate this within the church. This informs potential donors that the Church values gifts left in wills, and how it will seek to use such gifts. It also provides a framework that guides the PCCs thinking when a gift is received. Here’s our guidance on writing a legacy policy.