Churchwarden Resources

What is a churchwarden?

Churchwardens are called to represent the people of God – they shall be foremost in representing the laity - and to work with the leadership of the parish, ordained and lay. 

It is a spiritual and missional calling – they shall use their best endeavours by example and precept to encourage the parishioners in the practice of true religion and to promote unity and peace among them; they shall also maintain order and decency in the church and churchyard, especially during the time of divine service. 

Churchwardens care for the fabric and property of the church, as stewards of God. 

How are they elected?

Churchwardens are elected annually at the parish APCM.

How long can they serve?

They should serve for a maximum of 6 years (unless the Meeting of Parishioners resolves otherwise).

What are the responsiblities of a Churchwarden in relation to fabric and content and Faculties?

For more information read this quick User guide to Faculties for Churchwardens or visit our Church Buildings page.


For more information about parish safeguarding visit our Safeguarding page.

A parish in Vacancy

For more information about parish vacancies, visit the Your Church in Interregnum page.

Useful Resources and Training

List of useful Churchwarden resources

The Churchwarden's Year: Calendar of Church Maintenance

Training for churchwardens is available twice a year – dates to be announced.

Annual Visitation Service

Visitation Services take place in June each year following the election of churchwardens at the APCM. At the service the churchwarden makes a declaration in the presence of the Archdeacon or Registrar that he/she will faithfully and diligently perform the duties of the office in the year for which he/she has been elected.

Archdeacon's (Area Dean's) Parish Visitation

Every 5 years the Archdeacon or Area Dean will arrange a Parish Visitation to check that everything is in order and running smoothly, and especially to have an encouraging conversation about the parish’s vision, mission and ministry. Parishes due to receive a Visitation will be notified at the beginning of the year by the Archdeacon. Exact dates will be arranged by the Archdeacon/Area Dean.

Paperwork and the Information and Guidance on how to complete this is available here. It should be completed and returned 2 weeks before the Visitation, together with a copy of the most recent Annual Report and Accounts. The meeting will normally take place during the daytime (daylight is needed to look at the church building) and will last about three hours (longer if there is more than one church). Documents and items listed on the paperwork should be laid out in the church/vestry ready for inspection.

The Archdeacon/Area Dean will write up a report on the Visitation and would welcome the opportunity to come to the PCC to discuss it.

What is a Quinquennial inspection?

Every 5 years the church building will be inspected by an appointed inspecting architect.  The report will detail the condition of the fabric of the building inside and outside, check the gas, electric and fire appliances and ensure the certificates are up to date.

The report is sent to the Church with a copy to Diocese and the Archdeacon.  It will highlight any work that is required, what it might cost and the approximate time it should be completed by.

The inspecting architect will make arrangements for the visit to take place.

Pastoral care for Churchwardens

Join our Diocese of Manchester Churchwarden community on Facebook.

The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
Church House, 
90 Deansgate, 
Manchester M3 2GH

Manchester DBF Company number 149999, Charity number 249424
Telephone: 0161 828 1400