A Churchwarden is a lay official in an Anglican parish church and in effect are the Bishop's lay officers of the parish. Holders of these positions are leading members of the parish board, which is usually called a Parochial Church Council (PCC). The role of Churchwarden is extremely varied but generally involves management, maintenance, and ministry. The rights and responsibilities of Churchwardens are laid down in Church Law and as with most roles within a parish, this is a voluntary (unpaid) position.
All Churchwardens must be elected to the role at the Annual Parish Meeting and must meet the following criteria for eligibility.
Churchwardens must be baptised, regular communicants who are resident in the parish or on the Electoral Roll. They need not be members of the congregation of the parish church in a parish with more than one church. In addition, any Churchwarden:
- Should be over 21 (minimum age may vary, between 18 to 21).
- Should have been confirmed, and should have received communion at least three times in the previous year. A person who is ready to be confirmed and wants to be confirmed also qualifies.
Make yourself aware of all of the responsibilities and legal implications of the role. Your PCC should have documents that give you the information you need. Take a look at the churchwardens.com site which you will find helpful, giving you much more information about the role.
Attend training, annual events and gatherings that help you fulfil the role, receive good advice, meet key people and network with other churchwardens. There are two specific events that all Churchwardens should attend:
This is usually in November and is always a very popular and well attended meeting. All Churchwardens are encouraged to come. The conference features informative and thought provoking presentations and is also a good opportunity to meet both Archdeacons and share any issues.
Annual Archdeacon's Visitation Service
This is held at various locations across the Diocese usually in May. This service features the annual admission of churchwardens who are expected to attend one of these events, ideally supported by their incumbent.
Taking this further...
For information about this important role and the above events, contact Susan Jarman at the Archdeacon's office:
firstname.lastname@example.org 01709 309110
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