Ways to help - Being a Churchwarden

BEING A CHURCH WARDEN                                 


Churchwardens are elected annually at the Annual
Meeting of Parishioners. Their term of office is one
year, and they may serve for up to six consecutive
terms of office, unless the Annual Meeting passes a resolution to set aside this rule. They are the Bishop’s officers, and are admitted to office each year by the Archdeacon, on behalf of the Bishop.

Their first responsibility is to the Bishop, usually via the Archdeacon. They, with the parish priest, are generally responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the parish.

Churchwardens are vital to the health and wellbeing of our church communities. It is an important role.

Churchwardens represent the Congregation in cooperating with the incumbent, they together encourage the parishioners in their faith. They shall also maintain order and decency in the church and churchyard, especially during the services.

Churchwardens should:

  • care for and support the parish priest, and be people to whom the incumbent can turn to for advice and support

  • try to ensure that the incumbent is relieved of superfluous administrative, and other, tasks

  • provide feedback, as a ‘critical friend’, for the parish priest

  • care for the congregation and encourage people in their Christian faith

  • When any concerns arise, they should consult the Area Dean and/or Archdeacon.

    Churchwardens should have a set of keys for the church.


They should attend services regularly, and normally arrive in good time to support the welcome group, be present for any refreshments, and assist in tidying up after services.

The way in which churchwardens exercise their role at Hampton in Arden is by:- 1. Meetings / Trusteeships

They are ex officio members of the PCC (the trustees of the parish), and may be appointed to the PCC Standing Committee. The standing committee is usually The vicar church wardens PCC secretary and treasurer. They can make decin s on behalf of the PCC should the need arise.

They should meet regularly with the incumbent.
2. Administration
With the incumbent and PCC, they should use their best endeavours to ensure that:

  • there is adequate provision for and oversight of the administration of the parish, including financial administration

  • there are proper procedures in place for recruiting, and managing lay staff and volunteers

  • the PCC adopts a Safeguarding policy, and has an action plan for ensuring that the policy is implemented

  • the PCC has a health and safety policy and ensures that it is implemented 3. Finance

    They should use their best endeavours to ensure that:

  • there are proper systems in place for counting collections, recording amounts and their secure holding until they can be banked

  • adequate processes are in place for managing the finances of the PCC

  • expenses of office are paid to the clergy

  • the church is adequately insured

  • all bills are paid

  • the PCC contributes to the Diocese’s Common Fund 2

• the parish’s end of year accounts, and other returns are submitted promptly. In the absence of a PCC Treasurer, the churchwardens must fulfil the role of

Treasurer together.
4. Mission
Churchwardens should use their best endeavours to ensure that:

  • the PCC has a Mission Action Plan, and pays attention to implementing it

  • there is an appropriately encouraging welcome to people attending church

  • the church is open to the public as much as possible.

    5. Pastoral Care

    Churchwardens should use their best endeavours to ensure that the pastoral work of the Church is being undertaken in the parish and amongst the congregation.

    6. Buildings and Contents and Property

    Churchwardens are responsible for ensuring that the PCC cares for and maintains the church and its contents and other buildings in the parish, and the churchyard or grounds.

    They are responsible for ensuring that:

  • there is a terrier, (the list and description of any land or buildings belonging to the church)

  • proper records of any property transactions, including licences under Faculty and tenancy agreements and leases are kept

  • an annually updated inventory and photographic record of all the items belonging to the church it retained

  • quinqennial repairs are carried out

  • a log book of all alterations and repairs to the church and its lands and

    contents exists

  • appropriate building and contents insurances are in place

  • an annual report is made on the fabric of the church and any other buildings to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting


• all valuable items are securely kept

• the Archdeacon and the DAC are consulted about any repairs or alteration to the church, or any acquisitions or disposals of contents, and that a Faculty is obtained before any work is begun.

7. Liturgy and Worship

In the absence of the parish priest they are responsible, with the Area Dean, for ensuring that there is someone to conduct services, and that liturgy and the life of the parish continues as far as possible as with the previous incumbent. If there is no one available they should conduct any service, as far as possible themselves. They must check that all visiting clergy hold the Bishop’s licence or Permission to Officiate.

They should ensure that the service register and other registers are properly filled in.

They are responsible for ensuring that people are properly welcomed to the church and to services, and that sidespeople are appointed.

They are responsible for good order in the church and churchyard or the equivalent. In the event of a service being disrupted or a disturbance in church they should call the police, and, if necessary, may arrest a person, or escort them off the premises.

At the end of their period of office churchwardens should handover their keys to their successors, and the inventory, which should then be checked and signed.

Churchwardens are not expected to do everything above themselves, but to make sure that there are other people available to carry out the various tasks.





    Though nobody will mind if you are! Thank you
    Stuart Dimes Vicar

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