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Should the office of churchwarden be abolished?

09 November 2018

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or to add to the answers given below


Should the office of churchwarden be abolished? It’s a mug’s game, anyway. 

Your answer: What a question! Where does one start? Clearly the originator has had some poor experience of being a churchwarden, which is sad. Even so, a “mug’s game” hardly sounds like a response to a Christian calling.

The abolition of the office would not really help, however: all the tasks would still need to be done, and the responsibility for finding the people to do them would, no doubt, fall on our overworked clergy. A churchwarden doing the job well can take a huge load off the shoulders of the clergy, and thus make a large difference to the church as a whole.

I believe that there is a significant issue here: namely, that there is a lack of detailed information in print to tell prospective churchwardens what the job is really about; the material currently in print is largely about the history of the office and the legal requirements for elections, as opposed to giving any detail of what it actually entails. I am convinced that the discovery of the vast responsibility is why many churchwardens lose their enthusiasm soon after their election.

As it happens, I have a book just going to print on this very subject: Rotas, Rules and Rectors: How to thrive being a churchwarden (Troubadour Books; beingachurchwarden.com/ and www.troubador.co.uk). It is aimed at filling the unpublished gap between the legal requirements and the actual job, in the hope that a better idea in advance will both weed out the candidates who have some rosy idea of the job, and encourage those who are currently deterred from standing by the lack of detail.

Matthew Clements (ex-churchwarden twice)
Bicester, Oxfordshire


Your question: I have a book, The Calendar of the Prayer-Book, dated 1867. On 5 November, in red letters, it states Papists’ Conspiracy. Can anyone tell me if and when this first appeared in the Prayer Book, and, second, when it was removed from the calendar?

K. D.


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