News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

UK News

Up to 1/4 of Church of England parishes have no wardens

by Premier Journalist
CHURCH BENCH.jpg - Banner image

Fresh data indicates that nearly a quarter of Church of England parishes are currently without church wardens.

Wardens play a vital voluntary role, overseeing various tasks such as church building maintenance, providing support to the parish priest, and handling administrative duties. They are integral to the smooth day-to-day operation of the parish.

A study spanning the Church's 42 dioceses has shed light on the magnitude of the staffing challenges confronting the institution. Concerns have been raised, warning that volunteers have been undervalued for too long.

Among the dioceses that responded to inquiries regarding recruitment hurdles, it was discovered that 40 percent of parishes have only one church warden, with a further five to 21 percent having none at all.

One diocese reported that 22 percent of its parishes faced shortages in key positions in January, according to the Church Times.

Critics are pointing out that the shortage of volunteers coincides with an increase in workloads and bureaucracy for church wardens, who are struggling to support overstretched vicars, many of whom now serve multiple congregations.

Rev Marcus Walker, chairman of the Save the Parish campaign group and also a member of the General Synod, the Church of England’s legislative body, commented: “The national church tends to burden clergy and volunteers with paperwork, and then seems surprised when they seek other commitments.”

Rev Walker, who serves as rector at St Bartholomew the Great in the City of London, emphasised: “To revitalise the Church at the grassroots level, we must make volunteering in the Church more accessible.

"Volunteers have been overlooked for too long; it’s time to properly appreciate their contributions.”

Last year, an analysis by The Telegraph of the most recent Church of England statistics revealed a decline from 12,510 to 12,232 parishes between 2016 and 2021, with 278 individual parishes] either reorganised or merged.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email