Guide books for the PCC - Book Review

"The PCC Member’s Essential Guide"

Mark Tanner 

"Being a Better PCC"

John Cox

These two recently published handbooks provide a quick introduction to the work of the Parochial Church Council. Both are very short (under 70 pages). Both are worth reading, whether you’re new to the PCC or an old hand.

John Cox is a former Archdeacon. Mark Tanner is Warden of Cranmer Hall, Durham, and was formerly a Vicar in the Sheffield Diocese. They know what they’re talking about. Both write in an accessible style with a minimum of technicality.

The major difference between them is that Tanner writes mainly for the (perhaps hesitant) first-timer wanting to know how the PCC fits into parish life, and what one may expect to find on becoming a PCC member.

His handbook contains short devotional sections after each chapter, which help to emphasise that being on the PCC is a spiritual as well as a legal responsibility. The book originated as an induction course that the author developed during his years in parochial ministry for new PCC members.

Cox’s work, on the other hand, concentrates more on the legal and official duties of the PCC. It includes sections on the increasing volume of legislation that govern the work of the Council. These include trusteeship, data protection, disability discrimination, fire prevention, health and safety, safeguarding, etc.

As such, Cox’s book is a useful quick reference guide to a wide range of legal detail – less readable than Tanner, but more use when legal and procedural matters arise. The Incumbent, as Chair of the PCC, will find this a useful introduction and quick reminder of what she or he really needs to know.

Books can be ordered from any Christian dealer. Try as a first point of call.

Ven Steve Wilcockson (Archdeacon of Doncaster)

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