Churchwardens are the senior lay people of the parish and they are officers of the Bishop.

Churchwardens are nominated at the Annual Meeting and may hold office for up to six year unless the Annual Meeting specifically decides this may be longer. They are ex-officio members of the PCC. Each parish is to have two churchwardens.

The way in which churchwardens exercise their office will vary from parish to pad warden to warden, but there are certain key functions given by Canon law which states that ‘they shall be foremost in representing the laity and in cooperating with the incumbent’ and that ‘they shall use their best endeavours to encourage the parishioners in the practise of true religion and to promote unity and peace among them’. Churchwardens are key people in exercising the ministry of welcome to visitors and care for the needs of the congregation and parish.

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Churchwardens have a significant role in overseeing the practical care of the church building and its contents. They must maintain the inventory of the church and a log book of work done and should produce a report on this to the annual meeting of parishioners. They are also required to make reports each year to the archdeacon, who admits them into office on behalf of the Bishop.

Beyond this, local custom will determine what churchwardens do, which varies enormously, from setting up for services, to practical tasks and even the leading of morning and evening prayers.

Above all else they should be the ‘critical friend’ of the incumbent, loyal and supportive but also honest, the person the incumbent can turn to for good advice and encouragement.

In a vacancy it is the churchwardens, with the support of the area dean and the archdeacon, who have the responsibility for the running of the parish.

The archdeacons run training events each year aimed at churchwardens where they look at the many different roles of a warden and share clear advice and where to find useful resources, advice and help in the many facets that the role demands. For more information on these events please contact the archdeacons.

Annual Parochial Church Meetings

We look forward to receiving your completed Return of Parish Officer’s form, Data Protection form and Electoral Role Certificate once the APCM has taken place.

Archdeacons’ Visitation News

Please click on the link below for an online copy of the Archdeacons’ Visitation News which is full of interesting articles from around the Diocese.  You can collect a copy of the Archdeacons’ Visitation News at the Annual Visitation Services or contact the Archdeacons’ Office if you would like a copy.

Archdeacons’ Visitation News 2023

The Churchwarden’s Yearbook 2024

Next year’s annual diary and reference book for churchwardens is now available for order. It includes a diary specially designed for churchwardens, covering the period from Advent 2023 to Epiphany 2025, together with reference material to help with the wardens’ many tasks.

Churchwarden’s Yearbook 2024

Additional downloads

Churchwarden’s job description

What happens when the Vicar Leaves …

What happens when the Vicar Leaves
What happens when the Vicar Leaves (PDF, January 2021)

Churchwardens’ Workshop

Churchwardens Workshop 2019 slides

Church insurance made simple – from Ecclesiastical