Closed Churches

Closure of a Church

Occasionally it is found that a particular church building is no longer serving the needs of the local worshipping community. This can result in proposals that it might be closed for regular public worship and the possibility that it might be disposed of for some other purpose. This process used to be known as redundancy but now is referred to as closure. However, the process is virtually identical to the old redundancy process.

Decision to Close

Within the Hereford Diocese, the closure process would begin by a PCC resolving that it wished its church to be closed. Such a resolution would only be passed after consultation locally since a church closure affects the whole of the local community and not just the PCC. The resolution would then be sent to the appropriate archdeaconry Mission and Pastoral Sub-Committee for consideration. A recommendation about closure cannot be made by the sub-committee until it has received a report on the church building from the Church Building Council. Once a recommendation has been made, a draft pastoral scheme can be prepared for consultation with interested parties.

More detailed information about the closure of churches may be found on the Church Commissioners' website

Length of the Closure Process

The closure process is not quick and, even if there are no objections, it will usually take at least a year before the scheme can be made. After this, the church building passes into the care of the Diocesan Board of Finance during a two year use seeking period. If a viable and appropriate alternative use cannot be found for the building then responsibility passes to the Church Commissioners for a final decision.

Services in closed churches

Bishop Anthony, former Bishop of Hereford, issued the following guidelines on holding services in closed churches which still apply:

Services in closed churches

Church Conservation Trust Information