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Home Parishes Pastoral Organisation Frequently Asked Questions - Pastoral Matters There are five parish churches in our benefice. One is in a very small village, and the congregation would prefer to travel to the next village most Sundays to be part of a larger worshipping community. We don't want to close the church. What can we do?

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There are five parish churches in our benefice. One is in a very small village, and the congregation would prefer to travel to the next village most Sundays to be part of a larger worshipping community. We don't want to close the church. What can we do?

by Michael Ford last modified 06 Oct, 2017 10:41 AM

The status of a church may be changed by a Pastoral Scheme designating it as a Chapel of Ease. A Chapel of Ease is consecrated and does not have churchwardens, but it may have "Deputy Wardens", nor are there the same requirements for regular Sunday worship. Chapels of Ease need not be licensed for marriages although many of those that were previously parish churches are. If there is no other church in the parish the Pastoral Scheme may also unite the parish with one of its neighbours. The PCC of the new united parish may form a local church committee as a sub-committee of the PCC to look after purely local issues for the Chapel of Ease (e.g cleaning, grass cutting). A model PCC resolution to form a local church committee can be obtained from the Pastoral Secretary.

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