Jersey's 12 Parishes
Jersey has twelve Parishes. Each Parish is divided into Vingtaines (or Cueillettes in St Ouen).
A Parish is a corporate body separate from its Parishioners. The Parish owns all public by-roads within its boundaries. The by-roads are administered by the Roads Committee as agent of the Parish. Individual electors of the Parish have no rights of ownership as such in Parish property.
The governmental body for the Parish is the Parish Assembly, traditionally known as the "Assembly of Principals and Officers of the Parish".
THE PARISH ASSEMBLY
The Parish officers are set out below. In addition to any other election requirement specified in the relevant legislation, must be resident in the Parish (but a rate payer in the Parish of St Helier is not disqualified for being elected to, or being the holder of, any honorary office in the Parish of St Helier by reason only of the fact that he does not reside therein).
Connétable (or Constable) is head of the Civil Parish. The Connétables are Members of the States by virtue of their office (see the States of Jersey Law 2005) and are elected at a public election. They are not delegates of the Parish; they are its representative. The Royal Court exercises a supervisory jurisdiction when the Connétable is in office and a similar jurisdiction is exercisable by the Royal Court (on a representation by the Attorney General) to decline to administer the oath to a newly elected Connétable if he or she is considered for any reason to be unfit for office. The Connétable is regarded as the "Father of the Parish" or, more aptly in the 21st Century, the Head of the Parish, and is called upon to make him/herself available to all parishioners on any matter of collective or individual concern to them.
Rector is a Priest of the Church of England and the head of the established Church within the Parish. The title of Rector is limited to the twelve Rectors of the ancient Parish Churches. The Rectors are appointed by the Crown and preside over the Ecclesiastical Assembly.
- The two
Procureurs du Bien Public in each Parish act as public trustees and are elected at a public election. They serve a 3-year term of office and the next election will be in March 2017. They maintain an oversight of Parish finances and have a duty to represent the Parish in the care of Parish property; to report to the Principals and Officers of the Parish any matter concerning the public property of the Parish, or the application of the income of the Parish, about which the principals and officers should be made aware and must carry out duly considered instructions of the Parish Assembly or officers even if they disagree with their wisdom. They may seek guidance of the Royal Court on the meaning or legality of any such instructions.
Honorary Police officers are elected as Centenier, Vingtenier or Constable's Officer (see
Church Officers are appointed by the Ecclesiastical Assembly.
Surveillants (Churchwardens) for the Parish church are appointed annually by the Ecclesiastical Assembly at a meeting to be held before 31 May. The Surveillants take an oath of office before the Ecclesiastical Court at a meeting held after 1 June. A Surveillant need not be resident in the ecclesiastical parish which he serves in that capacity but must be on the Deanery Electoral Roll. The title of Churchwarden is in French 'Surveillant' and should literally be translated as 'overseer' of the poor (Charité) and guardians of the Church property (Trésor). There are duties and obligations under Civil Law and as set out in the Canons of the Church of England in Jersey.
Almoners (Aumôniers) are appointed to assist the Surveillants. They are appointed annually by the Ecclesiastical Assembly at a meeting to be held before 31 May and take an oath of office before the Ecclesiastical Court at a meeting held after 1 June.
Rates Assessment Committee, whose members are appointed by the Parish Assembly for a 3 year term of office in accordance with the Rates (Jersey) Law 2005, are responsible for rate assessments in the Parish (see Rates).
- The Registrar is elected by the Parish Assembly (but for St Helier the Registrar is appointed by the Connétable with the approval of the Parish Assembly) and is responsible for maintaining the registers of births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths in the Parish.
The Parish Assembly
The Parish Assembly, known as the "Assembly of Principals and Officers of the Parish", considers civil and ecclesiastical matters within its remit.
- The Rector presides over an Assembly to deal with the ecclesiastical affairs of the Parish (commonly called the Ecclesiastical Assembly).
- The Connétable presides when the Assembly deals with all other Parish affairs (commonly called the Parish Assembly).
Membership and Voting rights at a Parish Assembly
A member of the Parish Assembly has one vote on any decision by the Assembly despite the fact that the member may be qualified more than once to be a member of the Parish Assembly.
A person is a member of the Parish Assembly if:
- the person resides in the Parish and is registered for the Parish as an elector in public elections (see
- the person is a ratepayer for the relevant year – either as owner or occupier of property (see
- a Deputy of the States who represents the parish, or a constituency of the parish, has the right (if not otherwise eligible as a member) to attend, but not to vote, in the Parish Assembly.
The functions of the Parish Assembly are:
- The election of officers.
- The care of the roads.
- The promotion of local improvements (new roads or drains, the removal of nuisances, etc.).
- The levying of rates in accordance with the Rates (Jersey) Law 2005.
- Consideration of licensing applications under the Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974.
The functions of the Ecclesiastical Assembly include:
- the choice of officers of the Church,
- the examination and approval of their accounts;
- repair of the Church, of the Cemetery, and of the Presbytery etc.
Procedure for Meetings of the Parish Assembly
The President of the Parish Assembly will convene an Assembly when there is business for the Assembly to conduct. The official notice must be placed in the Parish box (boîte grillée) in the Parish cemetery. Notice must also be given in the Jersey Gazette at least two days before holding the Assembly.
The convening notice must state the business to be discussed. No other business may be discussed except matters relating to public safety and the care of the poor.
The President of the Assembly must produce the convening notice to the Assembly and follow the order for debate as set out in the notice. The President is required to put every matter proposed and seconded to discussion and to the vote. A vote is usually taken by show of hands and, if necessary, scrutineers will be appointed to count the votes. There is no provision for proxy or postal votes to be received. Minutes of the meeting are kept and will usually be confirmed at the following Assembly.
The President is required to convene an Assembly within two weeks of receiving a request to do so from ten or more members of the Assembly. The request must be made in writing, dated, and must state the subject for which the Assembly is to be convened. The subject must include a resolution that is within the competence of the Assembly to consider and upon which it may properly vote.
The role of the Parish Assembly does not extend to matters beyond those specifically relating to the administration of the Parish. On occasions meetings are held in Parish Halls to debate matters of local interest; these are informal proceedings and must not be confused with the formal business of the Parish Assembly.
THE PARISH ASSEMBLY
Is the Comité des Connétables a States Committee?
The Comité des Connétables comprises the twelve Parish Connétables who meet on a regular basis to discuss items of concern which affect all the Parishes. The Comité has an office at East Wing RJA&HS, Route de la Trinité, Trinity, JE3 5JP (T: +44 (0) 1534 767555; F: +44 (0) 1534 767666; E:
email@example.com (Secretary). The Comité is not a statutory Committee of the States Assembly but the Supervisory Committee, which also comprises the twelve Connétables, is a statutory committee under the Rates Law (see
How can I get involved with the Parish?
There are many opportunities to get involved within your Parish and, in so doing, to contribute to the life of your community and Island. Contact your Parish Connétable to find out more about the honorary posts and how you can volunteer, or contact the clubs and associations connected with the Parish to obtain further details of an organisation's work and activities.
What's happening in my Parish?
You'll find details of Clubs and Associations connected with the Parish, local news, details of forthcoming events and other information on the Parish pages. General information on events in Jersey can be found on sites such as