The Closed Churches Committee meets at least once a year, depending on the number of cases, to work towards identifying suitable alternative uses for churches closed for regular public worship under the provisions of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011. The committee is formally a subcommittee of the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee (DMPC). Its ex-officio members are: the four Archdeacons, the Diocesan Director of Glebe and Buildings and the Diocesan Senior Church Buildings Officer. Additional members are: a representative of the Bishop’s Council (which carries out the functions of the DMPC), a representative the DAC and up to four other members, all of whom are to be appointed by Bishop’s Council on the recommendation of the Appointments Committee.
Day-to-day administration in relation to closed church buildings is the responsibility of the Pastoral Secretary, who is Secretary to the DMPC and who works in close liaison with the Archdeacons and colleagues in the DAC, the Diocesan Registry, with professional advisers as appropriate and with counterparts at the Church Commissioners, the latter who have ultimate oversight of church closures and disposals.
Church closures occur in small numbers and unpredictably. There have been a dozen in the Diocese over the last 20 years. The process is complex and lengthy and requires careful support, as it should only be considered after first exploring all other options to keep the building open AND where a lack of pastoral need has been established.
It it important to note that consecrated Anglican churches can only be formally closed by a Pastoral Church Buildings Closure Scheme which is subject to a statutory consultative process. For more information please refer to the Guidance on determining the future of a church building document along with the other resources linked below.
Contact: Pastoral Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org