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Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Sometimes, wardens have been expected to shoulder this burden alone. We do not believe this is healthy. We are working to make sure three sorts of support are offered.

Firstly, teams are essential. Where a healthy, cheerful and effective team already exists within a church – such as a PCC or a Ministry Leadership Team – there may be no need to create a new team, and we certainly aren’t suggesting that any warden should feel burdened with a responsibility to create an extra committee where it isn’t needed.

However, we are concerned that some wardens, particularly where only one warden is serving in a benefice, are isolated or have no viable team to be a part of. This is not how it should be, and in these cases we propose the creation of a new team, as a normal part of church life, with responsibilities including as appropriate the leading of acts of worship, and the oversight, in cooperation with the incumbent and PCC, of several areas of church life.

Some churches call such teams “sidespeople”, “sidesmen”, “assistant wardens”, “deputy wardens” or “wardens’ team”. All members of such teams should have a full copy of the briefing document, and work out together how each of these items will be done, without the full weight of all of it falling on one person.​

Certainly, in those parishes where services of worship without a clergyperson or licensed lay minister being present are becoming more common, it would be unhealthy for a warden to have sole responsibility for leading them. Such a team (or another team within a benefice) may also have the function of developing the skills of those with a vocation to be a churchwarden

Second, we are in the process of creating a mentoring scheme so that there is always an experienced warden on-hand to encourage and to answer questions.

Your archdeacon will be able to tell you more, or you could email the training team.

And third, we are determined to provide high-quality training on the kinds of issues mentioned on this website.

Some of this training will be online, some face-to-face. Keep an eye on this website for more details


For more information please contact Revd Andy Griffiths
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