Here are four points to consider about the nature of the leadership a PCC exercises:
As Christians serving in this capacity, we are accountable first and foremost to God. We want to see God’s work furthered and God’s name glorified through the work and witness of the Church. We are also accountable to the local church congregation whom we represent: they have trusted us to take decisions and initiate actions which will build up its common life and extend its capacity to serve the wider community. The nature of the Church means that it is more than a collection of people who happen to share an interest. Church is not a club where members choose their own level of engagement - it is a body where each part is dependent on other parts to fulfil its role, so that the body can function well.
A PCC does much more than oversee the fabric and finance of the local church. The functions of parochial church councils also include…
- its cooperation with the minister in promoting within the parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical;
- the consideration and discussions of matters concerning the Church of England or any other matters of religious or public interest, but not the declaration of the doctrine of the Church on any question;
- making known and putting into effect any provision made by the diocesan synod or the deanery synod, but without prejudice to the powers of the council on any particular matter;
- giving advice to the diocesan synod and the deanery synod on any matter referred to the council;
- raising such matters as the council consider appropriate with the diocesan synod or deanery synod;
- appointing sides persons (who are also known as assistants to the churchwardens);
- responding to any consultation around pastoral reorganisation concerning the parish – in this respect, the PCC is a statutory interested party within the process;
- exercising its statutory responsibilities (where a church building is to be closed) up to the scheme’s taking effect and the building’s closure for public worship.
We exercise leadership as servants and stewards;
- Servant-heartedness governs our attitude as leaders who follow in the example of Christ. (Mark 10 v 45)
- We don’t exercise leadership to rule over others, to get our own way, but to serve the purposes of God;
- ‘Leadership is always about those for whom I have a responsibility of care’;
- Members of a PCC are called to exercise servant leadership in order that the church might be further formed around the one who is its head, Jesus.
Each local church is part of a bigger picture and a decisive factor in determining the contours of that picture is the Diocese. In Lichfield Diocese that means that we seek to play an active part in the realisation of its vision:
"As we follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad, we pray that the two million people in our diocese encounter a church that is confident in the gospel, knows and loves its communities, and is excited to find God already at work in the world. We pray for a church that reflects the richness and variety of those communities. We pray for a church that partners with others in seeking the common good, working for justice as a people of hope."