Many who come to St James are not necessarily familiar with how Church of England churches are organised and governed.
St James Muswell Hill
This is just a brief outline with explanations of some key words and names that you’ll here from time to time at St James.
No-one would ever have sat down and invented the Church of England or its organisation; but it has some good checks and balances in the system and works remarkably well in practice at the local level.
This stands for the Parochial Church Council, which is elected by St James' members. The PCC has complete legal and financial responsibility for the ministry at St James. It comprises about 25 people, including the clergy and Church Wardens.
It meets 6 times a year, including a day away in May. It has a number of task groups that look after the detailed work in areas such as finance, buildings and World Mission.
Members serve staggered 3 year terms, so there are elections every year but good continuity as well. A report of each meeting is published in Church Family News.
Our 2 Church Wardens are also elected and are our most senior lay leaders. They are legally responsible with the Vicar for the fabric of the church buildings. In practice they serve as key advisors and leaders. They can serve for up to 6 years, elected each year at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM). This meeting is held in March or April.
This is the closest the Church of England gets to a membership system. Anyone over the age of 16 who has been attending St James for at least 6 months can ask to join and can then vote at the APCM. We normally update the roll in March each year.
We are a part of the London Diocese under the leadership of Bp Richard Chartres. The diocese is also subdivided into a number of episcopal areas each with its own bishop.
- Our local bishop is Bp Peter Wheatley and our area is Edmonton.
- We are also linked with other parishes in West Haringey in what is called the Deanery.
- The clergy of the Deanery meet regularly at Chapter meetings and there is an elected lay body called the Deanery Synod which meets 4 times per year.
- Elections for this are held every third year and our elected representatives are ex officio members of the PCC too.
There is also a Diocesan Synod and the General Synod for the whole Church of England. Both of these are elected by Deanery Synod members.