‘Parishes at the very heart of Church of England's mission’ – response to article in Sunday Telegraph


The short comment below was provided to The Sunday Telegraph ahead of an article which appears today on “parish closures”. The article omits almost the entire comment.

William Nye, the Church of England's Secretary General, said: “Local parish churches are at the very heart of the Church of England's mission and over the next nine years we are investing £3.6 billion of Church Commissioners funds in front-line ministry up and down the land, focussing particularly on those communities most in need.

“It is early days but we are seeing our efforts bear fruit - and local projects funded by the national church have already brought 27,000 new disciples into our congregations.

“Of course, churches do sometimes close - but the truth is that the number of closures is the lowest it has been for fifty years and we are starting new worshipping communities all the time.  In fact, earlier this summer General Synod has formally committed the Church to revitalising our parishes.”


The number of consecrated churches closed has decreased in each of the last five decades. The figures, provided to the Sunday Telegraph but omitted, are as follows:

  • 1969-1979: 760
  • 1980-1989: 485
  • 1990-1999: 274
  • 2000-2009: 243
  • 2010-2019: 209