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New Electoral Roll can help you Grow

by Michael Ford last modified 31 Jan, 2020 11:36 AM

Creating a new Electoral Roll could be a great way of creating growth in your parish.

Miriam Longfoot, our Assistant Diocesan Secretary, says the new roll gives a chance for "a toe in the door".

She says experience has shown her that the need to create a completely new roll this year will allow churches to approach people in their communities who might not come to church regularly, if at all.

"Over many years of discussing such things with individual Electoral Roll Officers, I have come to realise that you are ideally placed to help create growth in your own parishes – and wonderful things can happen when people overcome their timidity or choose to see the Electoral Roll in a new light."

She said the creation of a new Roll, which happens every six years across the whole of the Church of England, gives a unique oppoprtunity for Parish Officers to increase giving and encourage new membership:
"A new roll gives church members a reason to contact them, to greet them in the street, to invite them to events, to ask for help with specific tasks and to approach them when fundraising."

Addressing those responsible for the new rolls, Mriam said:
"As the Electoral Roll Officer, you have a unique reason to go knocking on doors (or in larger parishes, head a team to go knocking on doors).

"One small parish in this diocese recently doubled its electoral roll because the Electoral Roll Officer decided to take action by personally visiting all households.

"Someone who has this sort of contact is far more likely to become a church-goer and contribute to church finances than someone who receives no contact from their parish church."

Historically parishes had felt discouraged from increasing their Electoral Roll as this was one of the elements used to calculate Parish Share, but this is no longer the case and so Miriam believes this can open up opportunties:

"Electoral roll forms no part of the Share calculation, so increasing the size of your electoral roll does not increase your Parish Share.

"The Electoral Roll can, however, be a tool for mission and growth in the Church."

"'Renewing Hope: Pray, Serve, Grow' is the Bishop’s vision and challenge for our Diocese and, at this time, our parish Electoral Roll Officers can really play their part in supporting this vision."

Membership allows you to vote for Church officers and the PCC and for members of Deanery Synods in 2020. Deanery Synods debate matters of national interest as well as local matters such as Fairer Share.

Only people on Deanery Synods can vote for Diocesan Synod representatives in 2021 and only people on Deanery Synods can vote for members of the new General Synod in 2020.

And so the Assistant Diocesan Secretary reminded those creating the new rolls:
"Remember to tell people - if you want your say or want to vote for people to represent you, then you must be on the Electoral Roll."

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