The Parish of St Mary the Virgin, Ringmer

Conflict of Interest Policy

1. Purpose
2. Scope
3. Examples
4. Disclosure of interests
5. Construction and application of the policy
6. Policy Review

1. Purpose

1.1 The purpose of this policy is to protect the integrity of the PCC's decision-making process, to enable our beneficiaries and other users to have confidence in our integrity, and to protect the integrity and reputation of staff, Parochial Church Council (PCC) and Deanery Synod members and church volunteers.

1.2 All should strive to avoid any conflict of interest between the interests of the church on the one hand, and personal, professional, and business interests on the other. This includes avoiding actual conflicts of interest as well as the perception of conflicts of interest.

1.3 This policy is in addition to good judgment rather than to replace it; and staff, volunteers and committee members should respect its spirit as well as its wording.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to trustees (PCC members), Deanery Synod members and other church members who have responsibility for decision making.

3. Examples

3.1 Examples of conflicts of interest (though this list is not exhaustive) include:

A PCC member who is also a user of a church facility, who must decide whether fees from users should be increased.

A PCC member who is related to a member of staff and there is decision to be taken on staff pay and/or conditions.

A PCC member whose spouse is on the committee of another organisation that is competing for the same funding.

A PCC member who owns, has shares in or is employed by a business that may be awarded a contract to do work or provide services for the organisation.

4. Disclosure of interests

4.1 Upon appointment each PCC member will (using the form at Appendix 1) make a full, written disclosure of interests, such as relationships, and posts held, that could potentially result in a conflict of interest.

4.2 This written disclosure will be reviewed by a Churchwarden (or the Vicar), and kept on a file held by the PCC Secretary.  Members are expected to promptly update their declaration as appropriate for any changes arising after appointment.  The current file of disclosure forms will be presented annually by the Secretary to a meeting of the PCC.

4.3 At the beginning of each meeting a standing agenda item will require members to disclose any interests in a transaction or decision being put before the meeting where they may have a conflict of interest. i.e. Any potential conflict between the PCC’s best interests and the member’s personal interests, or a conflict between the best interests of two organisations that the committee members are involved with.   If something subsequently comes up at any time during a meeting that requires a member to declare an interest, then the member shall do it then.

4.4 After disclosure, the member will be asked to leave the room for the relevant discussion and will not be able to take part in the decision.

4.5 Any disclosures, and the action taken, should be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

5 Construction and application of the policy

5.1 Queries on the construction and application of the policy should be directed in the first instance to the PCC Secretary.

6 Policy review – this Conflict of Interest policy statement will be reviewed every three years to ensure continuing appropriateness


Agreed by the PCC   - 18th July 2016