What is the Electoral Roll? In the same way that being on the civic Electoral Roll allows you to vote in parliamentary and local elections, joining the Church Electoral Roll means that you can vote on elections at the APCM and stand for election to the PCC. Being on the Electoral Roll does NOT make you a ‘member’ of the Church; simply regarding Christ Church Thornton as your spiritual home does that.
Do I have to join? You can, of course, be a full and active member of Christ Church Thornton without joining the Roll. Being on the Electoral Roll does not entail signing up to any additional commitments, however, it does help the Church show its strength. Representation on the governing bodies of the Church depends on the number on the Electoral Roll. Joining the Roll is compulsory if you wish to stand for election to the PCC or other synodical council (such as the Deanery, Diocesan or General Synod).
What does the Electoral Roll affect? The maximum number of PCC lay members. If the Roll is not representative this means that the PCC is too small for the workload involved, putting heavy strain on the members. Representation on the governing bodies of the Church (PCC, Poulton Deanery Synod, Blackburn Diocesan and General Synod).
The Church of England is governed by a synodical system which joins with the Bishops to make decisions. Being on the Electoral Roll is the entry point and Christians share an individual responsibility to be part of the ‘Body of Christ’ and to participate fully in our part of His Church. This system is intended to enable church people at every level to be in touch with the Church as a whole and to play their part in decision making. Also, the system is intended to ensure that the laity have their place in every aspect of church life, including doctrine and services.
The Electoral Roll does NOT have a direct bearing in the way the Parish Share is assessed – it is based on estimated membership and socio-economic factors.
Do I qualify for the Roll? To apply for the Electoral Roll you must meet ALL the following conditions:
- You must be aged 16 or over (though you can apply in the year you become 16 and your name will be entered once your birth date has passed).
- You must be baptised.
- You must be a member of the Church of England and EITHER live in the parish OR have attended a church in the parish regularly for at least 6 months.
Joining the Roll is an important statement of witness and a step along the path of discipleship. With your name on the Electoral Roll, the strength of the Church can be seen in our local area, and across the Diocese. If you’re a regular at Christ Church Thornton, you should be on the Electoral Roll.
I’m convinced – how do I join? The application form can be downloaded and printed from HERE. Fill in your full name and address, and tick the appropriate boxes. Please note that only names will appear on the published Roll. Please deliver the completed forms to the Church Office or hand to a Churchwarden or to Denise Taylor the Electoral Roll Officer. I can’t remember if I have joined already? Please speak to Denise Taylor!
In 2025 a whole new Electoral Roll is required to be started from scratch where everyone is invited to submit a new application to be included on the new Roll regardless of whether you were on the previous roll or not. But if you’re not already on it don’t wait until then – fill in a form now.