A parish is the geographical area committed to the care of an incumbent or Parish Priest by the Bishop. So everyone in England lives in a parish, whether or not they attend the parish church. Each parish has two Churchwardens and a Parochial Church Council, or PCC. Members are elected at the Annual Parochial Church meeting, which is held before 30th April. To be eligible, you must be over 16, on the Electoral Roll, baptised, confirmed and a regular communicant.
It is the legal responsibility of the incumbent to ensure that the Christian community is guided in its spiritual pilgrimage, and the PCC makes every effort to assist in meeting adequately the needs of those who are searching for God. The PCC works with and supports the Parish Priest in all the activities of the church, looks after the church building and its contents, manages the church's finances and is the means of communication with the Deanery, the Diocese and the wider Church The PCC meets every six to eight weeks, at St. Mary's Church Centre. Notices of meetings are published in the parish pew sheet, and copies of the minutes are available in the church.
St. Mary's School aims to provide a stimulating, well balanced environment which will support and enhance the spiritual, aesthetic, intellectual, social, physical and moral educational development of each child as an individual.
There are strong links between the church and the school - termly services are held in the church, and the Rector takes fortnightly assemblies at the school, with other clergy in the town filling the in-between weeks. The PCC of St. Mary's appoints four of the school Governors.
The school is currently organised into single age group classes in self-contained classrooms. There is no catchment area but the school aims to serve a combination of church families and the local residents by the implementation of its admissions policy.
This is a roll of persons who are qualified electors in a parish. Members are lay persons of sixteen years of age or upwards, who are baptized and are members of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with the Church of England. They must reside in the parish, or be entered on the roll as a non-resident elector.
The Deanery Synod is made up of clergy and laity from the parishes/benefices of the Woodbridge Deanery. The laity representatives are elected by each PCC to serve for four years.
The Synod meets three times a year at different venues throughout the Deanery. Meetings follow a set pattern and will include reports from General Synod, Diocesan Synod, Bishop's Council and finance as appropriate. Other matters are discussed as necessary; sometimes items are passed on to PCCs for discussion and reporting back.
Synod meetings are also useful for sharing information about what is happening in the different parishes. Some events are organised at Deanery level - in the last few years a pilgrimage and barbecue, a picnic, Evensong, and an exhibition of church artefacts.
St. Mary's has five Synod representatives who attend the meetings and report back to the PCC.
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