In preparation for the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) each year there is an opportunity for each parish to revise its Electoral Roll to reflect more closely its church membership. The numbers of those included on the Roll has to be reported at the APCM, and normally Electoral Roll Officers should ensure that the names of those who have moved or died, or who live outside the parish but have not worshipped regularly for six months, or others who are no longer eligible for membership, have been removed. The period up to the APCM each year is also a good time to remind eligible members of the congregation of the existence of the Roll and invite them to apply to join.
Electoral Roll officers are reminded of the requirement to liaise with their counterparts in other parishes about members moving between parishes. It is good practice to inform “lapsed” members who live outside the parish that they are to be removed from the Roll.
The revision of the Roll must be completed at least fourteen days (but not more than 28 days) before the APCM, and the revised Roll is then closed until after the APCM. The revised Roll must be exhibited in church for the period between its completion and the APCM in order that inaccuracies can be notified and corrected. Young people who have their sixteenth birthday during the closure period can apply for membership before the Roll is closed, completing the “become sixteen on…” sentence. They become members on their sixteenth birthday and can attend the APCM as members of the Roll.
The size of the Electoral Roll determines the number of elected members in the Parochial Church Council. This is another reason for the fourteen-day period before the APCM: the notices for the APCM must specify the number of members to be elected to the PCC. No-one over 18 can be elected to the PCC until they have been members of the Roll for six months. This does not apply to young people under the age of 18, who can be elected to the PCC from their 16th birthday.
Electoral Roll Revision
It should be noted that once every six years all Electoral Rolls are deleted and a completely new roll prepared. The next occasion for such a wholesale revision in scheduled for 2025. This means that the old electoral roll will cease to be valid and everyone wishing to be included on the new electoral roll will need to make fresh application.