So what is PCC? The parochial church council (PCC), is the executive body of a Church of England parish. That's as far as I'll go on that. Two Acts of Parliament define the powers and duties of PCCs and I'll leave you to the wonders of Wiki and Google to find out more :-)
At Holy Trinity, the PCC meets every 3 months and all aspects of church life are covered. In just a 3 hour meeting, the functions and committees (and their proposals/updates) which run every aspect of Holy Trinity life are reviewed. This might seem simple and then you consider these aspects - Pastoral care, worship, social committee, standing committee, Young People, Church Re-ordering, Finance, Trinity Centre, etc, etc. It's quite staggering that the PCC members who are elected every 3 years have to navigate the balance between outreach, mission, the building today, the building for the future and managing to be financially self-sufficient.
It's always quite humbling to hear about the army of volunteers which contribute to weekly life at Holy Trinity from fixing the loos in the Trinity Centre, to making new notice boards, to cleaning the church, to managing bookings at the Trinity Centre. It constantly reminds me of Saint Ignatius's prayer "to labour and not to ask for any reward" as so many of these people in our church community do so much work dutifully and silently.
So what actually happens at a typical PCC meeting? Well, we all meet together in the Trinity Centre and the meeting is chaired by our rector, John who gives us the necessary steer and direction and prevents us going off on to inevitable tangents. Typically, we review the last meeting minutes and our "chief spelling officer" (Jean) spots the most deeply buried schoolboy errors! We get to view a summary of the churches income and expenditure, look at the trends (good and bad) and discuss corrective action if required. Each of the sub committee reports is reviewed and we all get a chance to comment and discuss. Ideas generated by those sub-committees are then agreed or ideas are sent back to them for further review.
Whilst there is a core structure to the meeting, the agenda of the PCC is always dynamic and flexible to accommodate the latest initiatives. For example, at our March meeting, we had the chance to review the recent Reflection Day output and follow-up actions to grow our outreach work and make Holy Trinity into an even more vibrant place of worship. John presented the latest exciting re-ordering plans which means we can positively move forward. I was given a slot to make a proposal to PCC to go forward in establishing a "Friends of Holy Trinity" organisation to re-affirm Holy Trinity's place at the very heart of the Sutton Coldfield community. The PCC agreed and more will follow on that in due course!! In summary, PCC is a very open and inclusive forum to review the status quo and propose new ideas. The great thing is that all of this business is carried out in a good natured, friendly and constructive way with clear output and actions.
I quite often hear from people that they don't always know what's going on and maybe we can improve that with a "rogues' gallery" of PCC members in due course so that people have a clear view of who we are. In the meantime, please remember that the PCC represents the church community so please make sure that if you have any improvement suggestion on any aspect of church life, please don't hesitate to politely collar any PCC member to get your views discussed. Of course, you'll get a full flavour of everything that goes on at Holy Trinity at the forthcoming Annual Parochial Church Meeting on Sunday 28th April 2013. We look forward to seeing you there!