Handling vacancies

Vacancies are a time of challenge and, at their best, a time of great growth, development and hope. Vacancies are a time when people in the church can work together and new people take on responsibilities within the life and mission of the church.

We want you to feel supported and enabled throughout the vacancy. There is lots of help available, including Vacancy Guidelines offering the practical information needed by Churchwardens, PCCs and others taking responsibility in a vacancy, whatever the context. Alongside this, your Bishop, Archdeacon, Parish Development Adviser, Area Dean and Deanery Lay Chair will work closely with you throughout the vacancy.

You will find resources to support you through the vacancy process in the appropriate Area section below. The vacancy guidelines for each Area have been written to help churchwardens, PCC members and others who will be investing their time and skills during your vacancy. Each church is different, and although some details may change if you are in a single parish rather than a multi-parish benefice, most of this guidance will apply to all.

Helpful links

The Revd Gill Lovell shares advice in this helpful video.

For help and advice in dealing with a vacancy, contact your Parish Development Adviser:

The Revd Charles Chadwick

Parish Development Adviser (Dorchester)


01865 208 246

Rhodri Bowen

Parish Development Adviser (Berkshire & Oxford)


07741 736 480

The Revd Asa Humphreys 

Parish Development Adviser (Buckingham)


Vacancy guidelines

Guidelines to help churchwardens, PCC members and others who will be shouldering responsibility during a vacancy.

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