PCC Constitution





We, the members of the Parish of the Church of the English Martyrs Danbury, and Holy Trinity South Woodham Ferrers, affirm that as a community of God's people we share in the role of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King. We accept the mission of Our Lord Jesus Christ to carry on the work of salvation. We pledge our co-operation with the Parish Priest in carrying out the apostolate of the Church concerning spiritual, educational, pastoral, social and administrative matters. Together we endorse the formation of a Parish Pastoral Council

We do so in response to the recommendations of the Second Vatican Council, which urged that councils be formed in dioceses and parishes to assist the apostolic work of the Church.



Constitution Index

            Article l -         Name

            Article 2-         The purpose of the Council

            Article 3 -        Membership

            Article 4-         Nominations & Elections

            Article 5-         Officers

            Article 6-         Agenda

            Article 7 -        Committees

            Article 8 -        Meetings




The name of this body shall be ‘Parish Pastoral Council of The English Martyn Danbury & Holy Trinity South Woodham Ferrers’, hereafter known as 'The Council'.

All reference to 'Chairman' or 'he' is to be read as both male and female for the purpose of this Constitution.


(a)     To accept responsibility, with the priest for the life and mission of the Church in the Parish, and assist in the administration of the Parish through recommendation and active co-operation.

(b)     To act as an authentic representative voice of the people of God within the parish community.

(c)     To provide a frank and honest forum of communication and dialogue regarding Parish affairs, in the context of an open and prayerful atmosphere.

(d)     To participate by active co-operation, with the Deanery Pastoral Council and the Diocesan Pastoral Council, in the total life of the Church within the Diocese.

(e)     To encourage co-ordination and mutual assistance in the practical working of the various Parish organisations and co-operate with other religious bodies and with civic organisations for the common good of the community.

Also the Council shall perform the following functions:

(f)      It shall prepare annually a statement summarising its activities during the past year and its plans for the future.

 (g)    It shall review the financial statement and approve the Parish budget.

 (h)    It shall see to the maintenance and good upkeep of the Parish property and undertake any improvements to the property, which may be deemed necessary, with appropriate consultation.


All members should be practising Catholics who regularly attend Mass in the Parish.

There are three general categories of Council membership:

(a)          Ex Officio members. are people who attain membership by virtue of another office and not by election.                                                                                                    
These comprise:                                                                                        
The Parish Priest, the Parish Representative to the Diocesan Pastoral Council, the Parish Representative to the Deanery Pastoral Council, The Parish Treasurer, and a Representative from the Parish School - St Joseph's School, South Woodham Ferrers                  5 members

(b)     Elected members are people elected by the Parish as a whole. There shall be provisionally eight (8), of whom four (4) will be eligible for re-election each year to ensure continuity of the Council 8 members

(c)     Appointed members, The priest, by and with the advice of the Council, shall have authority to nominate not more than three (3) persons to be appointed members. The appointed member shall service on the same terms as the elected members                                                                  3 members
The purpose of such appointees shall be to achieve, so far as practical, a proper balance among sexes, races, age groups, areas of knowledge and competence desired on the Council.

All Council Members carry an equal vote.

All members shall take office at the first regular meeting of the Council following their election and shall serve until their successors take office.

Members shall serve for a term of two years. A parishioner may be re - elected upon completion of their two years service and shall serve for no longer than four years consecutively. Ex Officio members may serve without time limit. Members are expected as far as is reasonably possible to attend all meetings.

Catholic representation on the SWF Joint Church Council should consist of a minimum of 2 elected members of the Parish Pastoral Council. Such members should be decided at the first Council meeting following the AGM.


(a)     Should an election be held, any parishioner who has attained the age of sixteen (16) shall be eligible to vote.

(b)     The Council at the meeting held in the autumn shall appoint a Committee to organise the nomination and election of 'Elected Members'. The names of candidates shall be presented to the Council at the October meeting.

(c)     Should the number of candidates exceed those required to maintain a provisional number of 8 elected members on the Council, in the first instance they will be regarded as eligible for appointment. Should the numbers exceed both the available positions for provisional (8) and appointed (3) membership, the Council will determine if an Election is required to take place at Masses on the third (3) Sunday of October. If not, the Council may decide to exceed the provisional number of elected mambers.  In the event of an election, the persons receiving the highest number of votes on the returned ballot papers shall be declared elected. In the event of a tie the Council shall vote among themselves for one of the tied candidates.


(a)     The officers shall be a President, Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary. The Parish Priest shall hold the office of President.

(b)     The members of the incoming Council shall elect the officers of Chairman Vice-Chairman and Secretary at a special meeting prior to the Annual General Meeting.

(c)     The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Council. He shall act as a point of contact for parishioners wishing to enquire about the work of the Council.

(d)     The Vice-Chairman shall deputise for the Chairman in his absence.

(e)     The Secretary shall take minutes of all meetings of the Council, and send copies of such minutes to all members of the Council at least one week prior to the next scheduled meeting along with the agenda for that meeting.


Material for the Agenda is to be arranged between the President and the Chairman. Items to be considered under 'Any Other Business' should be submitted to the Chairman at least 24 hours in advance.


The Council shall have the authority to create special committees, and to designate the members of such committees. Each sub-committee shall contain at least one member of the Parish Pastoral Council.


(a)     The meetings of the-Council shall be held  regularly. There will be a maximum of 12 and a minimum of 6 meetings each year including the AGM.

(b)     The meeting held in the month of November shall be known as the Annual General Meeting and shall be for the purpose of:

(bl) Introducing the new Council for the coming year.

(b2) Presentation of reports for the past year.

        (i)        Chairman's Report (including plans for next year)

        (ii)       Financial Statement from the Treasurer

        (iii)      Report on Social Events

        (iv)       Reports from Parish Groups

        (v)       Reports from the Parish Priest.

(c)     Regular meetings of the Council shall be open to all parishioners as observers. Observers may speak at any meeting if so allowed by the Chairman but may not vote.

(d)     Special meetings may be called by the Chairman.

(e)     Voting will be decided by the majority of Council Members present at the meeting.

(f)      In special circumstances the provisions of the Constitution may be temporarily suspended by a two-thirds majority vote of the Council. Permanent amendments to the Constitution shall be subject to approval by the Annual General Meeting.