Section 11 Meeting

Purpose:

  • to agree the Profile and Role Description
  • to choose representatives of the three Parochial Church Councils for the interview process and
  • to decide the recruitment path.

[See Provisional timetable and Information for PCC Secretaries]

Convened under advice from the Archdeacon formally to adopt the documents for use in the recruitment process.  Section 11 is a full meeting of the three PCCs.  The Archdeacon must attend the start to make sure that the PCCs clearly understand the decisions being taken, but may leave after that.  There should be no surprises at this point.  We have all spent time on the Profile and Role Description and understand the appointment we are seeking to make and why.

The Section 11 Meeting is a bit like a starting gun.  Look at the Vacancy Clock Face – after this you move below the dotted line; from drafting and preparation to recruitment.   Hereafter, events unfold fairly swiftly.

CHOOSING PCC REPRESENTATIVES

Each PCC appoints two elected lay members of the PCC to be the PCC’s representatives in the interview process.  In a large multi-parish benefice, only one representative per PCC is usually appointed.  Candidates should be nominated and, where there are more than two, a secret ballot be held.  If the PCC fails to appoint any representatives, the duty falls on the Churchwardens.  National Church of England guidelines recommend that the composition of the panel is balanced so far as possible in terms of age, gender and race, while recognising that this cannot always be achieved.

COMPETITIVE OR SEQUENTIAL INTERVIEWS

This is often the most discussed item at a Section 11 meeting. It is very common to fill a clergy role with a competitive system in which:

  • the post is advertised
  • applications invited
  • a shortlisted constructed and
  • competitive interviews held

Alternatively it is also possible to ask the Patron and Bishop to consider the Profile and Role Description, and introduce candidates whom they consider to be well suited. Your Bishop and Archdeacon will have been praying for you throughout your vacancy and, may have a sense of one or more possible candidates.  Your Archdeacon is likely to be able to advise you whether, should the PCC ask them to do so, the Bishop and Patron would introduce such candidates to you.  If this is the path chosen the candidates are considered sequentially, one after another.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to this:

Advantages

  • The first candidate is likely to be seen much sooner than through advertisement and application, and a swifter appointment may be possible
  • You will be seeing selected candidates rather than those who happen to apply
  • It costs less in advertisement and possibly also interview costs

Disadvantages

  • Seeing a whole series of candidates through this route may extend the vacancy
  • You do not get to see all the candidates together, but accept or reject them, one at a time.

At the Section 11 meeting a compromise is to ask the Patron and Bishop to introduce a single candidate, but to then proceed to advertisement immediately if that candidate is not successful.