Standing up for the Parish System

The Church of England is draining parish resources, depriving parishes of paid clergy and forcing mergers on historic churches. Save the Parish is here to stop that.

Community

Parishes are the heart of communities up and down the country. Children are christened, people are married, our loved ones are laid to rest- all in our parish churches. Saving Parishes is vital to protecting these things.

Heritage

Many of our Parishes are centuries old, and play a central role in the history of England, and the United Kingdom. Current threats and pressures placed on parishes by the central church risk ending a direct, uninterrupted lineage with our local and national history.

Growth

Without parishes, and parish priests, the future of the Church of England is uncertain. The CofE's own research tells us that more paid clergy in parishes leads to the growth of the Church, and fewer leads to decline. Saving the Parish is best way to reinvigorate the Church for the next generation.

Support Save the Parish

Quotes of Support

You're not alone- Parishes matter, and people who love the parish are speaking out
Sir John Major

Sir John Major

Former Prime Minister

"Churches are not only part of our lives, they’re also a very important part of our landscape. If lost, we would all be the poorer."

Rev'd Canon Giles Fraser

Rev'd Canon Giles Fraser

St Anne's Church, Kew

“The hastening death of the parish will tear the beating heart from many a small place that is reliant upon church to help organise its common life."

Michael Nazir-Ali

Michael Nazir-Ali

Former Bishop of Rochester

“In rural areas, the parish church is often the only building which can be used for gathering the community at times of celebration and crisis... Its absence would further impoverish the community."

News

The latest news and articles via Save The Parish Network

The Church of England | Ysenda Maxtone Graham

"The combined scent of damp hymn books, dahlias slightly past their best, candlewax, Brasso and Victorian radiators: breathing in this intoxicating smell is one of the delights of living in England, with its 12,500 parish churches at the heart of every village and town. To press down the latch and feel the church door opening rather than remaining stubbornly shut is one of life’s great reassurers."

A Centrifugal Church | The Rev’d Colin Heber-Percy

"Over the last couple of difficult years, the parishes have proved themselves full of courageous and generous insurgents. Church House and the dioceses less so. The parish system in this country is a deeply embedded capillary network of neighbourliness and personal relationships. But Church House and the dioceses no longer seem to view it as vigorous and life-sustaining.

Archbishop of York to attend Save the Parish Conference

In an exciting, last-minute addition to their plans- Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop of York- is to attend a conference event hosted by campaign group Save the Parish (STP) this week in York. The conference- which is to take place this Thursday (7th July)- is billed as a day to “hear from and meet with those on the STP team, listen to some excellent presentations by friends of the campaign, and get to know fellow supporters.” It is hoped it will be a ‘rallying cry’ for the Parish campaign one day before this summer’s General Synod.

Episcopally led — and synodically sidetracked? | Rebecca Chapman, Church Times

"The 2021 Governance Review Group report recommended “a new piece of work to explore the reform of the General Synod and Synodical government”. Even if reform is what it takes, I long for us to move away from decisions behind closed doors — for the Synod to be able to discern openly together the common will for the Church as we look to the future. Then we can all agree to put our money where our mouth is rather than find that money has already been promised, and our part as elected representatives is merely to welcome it, whether we want to or not."

WATCH: Pay Priests Properly | Virginia Stourton

"[Priests] are good, giving people, and they need to be properly paid and they need to be properly housed because they are the bedrock of our Christian faith. They are the people that are going around talking to parishioners, and they can learn a great deal of what is actually needed by the man in the street. Unfortunately, the Church of England is reducing their number and of course in turn that is going to reduce the churches, and they will be sold. So it is something that really needs to be supported."

Extracts from Address by Bishop of Chelmsford | Diocesan Synod, June 2022

"I won’t be launching any new initiatives... I’m committed to supporting and empowering, as best we can, each local context to discern for yourselves how you are to be God’s people in your bit of the world, always facing outwards to the needs of the community in which you are based and working in partnership with others."