Parishes, Benefices, Deaneries
Find out more about the structure of the Diocese...
A parish is the basic territorial unit in the Church of England. There are currently 448 parishes in the Diocese.
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A benefice is a parish or group of parishes, normally under the care of a single stipendiary (paid) minister, although a number of other arrangements are possible. We have 148 benefices.
A deanery is a group of neighbouring parishes forming an administrative area. Each deanery is overseen by a Rural Dean (an ordained minister) and a Lay Chairman (not ordained).
Each deanery has a Deanery Synod made up of the clergy and elected lay representatives from the parishes. The Deanery Synod is a forum for the parishes to exchange views on issues affecting the Deanery. Its members also elect representatives to the Diocesan Synod and also to the General Synod, which is the legislative and deliberative body of the Church of England.
The Diocese of Salisbury has 19 deaneries, each of which come under one of four Archdeaconries - Sarum, Wilts, Sherborne and Dorset.