Guidance for Dioceses, Parishes and Clergy

Guidance for Dioceses

1) Closing church buildings for regular public worship

The Mission and Pastoral Measure Code of Practice provides guidance for diocesan representatives who are involved in the closing of buildings and settling of their future, and for senior diocesan office holders exercising roles under the Pastoral Measure.

Guidance on working with local planning authorities on the future of closed church buildings can be downloaded here.


2) Local building audits

Building audits help to decide the place of buildings in carrying out the Church's mission, while being objective about both the buildings themselves and the activities they cater for.

Some of the main reasons for carrying out a local buildings audit are:

  • to identify areas of opportunity for mission and outreach
  • to find out whether the location of existing church buildings is suitable for  future mission goals
  • to consider the wider potential of church buildings to serve the community around them
  • to help to make the best use of buildings as assets
  • to make sure the consultation process is as wide-ranging as possible so that there is a sense of agreement on proposals for changing or developing the way in which church buildings are used
  • to agree on a process for deciding the future provision and use of church buildings and other parochial property.

A guidance note and template for gathering information for local building audits are both available:

Local Building Audits: A Guidance Note for Dioceses

Template for gathering information


Guidance for Parishes, Clergy and Parishioners

1) The closure process

Clergy and Parishioners affected by the closure process can read the guidance note.

2) Leasing part of an open church building

The Pastoral (Amendment) Measure 2006 amended Section 56 of the Pastoral Measure 1983 to allow for the lease of part of a church building without closing any part of the building for regular public worship. A guide to this amendment is available here.