Churchwardens are the bishop's lay officers in a parish and they are elected annually as the senior laypeople of the parish and congregation. It is a volunteer role, and Churchwardens are vital to the health and wellbeing of our church communities. The role of a Churchwarden is a statutory one, with ancient origins. It is important and, at times, demanding. The rights and responsibilities are laid down in ecclesiastical law under the Churchwardens Measure 2001.
Their first and direct responsibility is to the Bishop, usually via the Archdeacon. Together with the parish priest, they are generally responsible for the day-to-day functioning of a parish.
Today the role is very varied, but generally involves matters to do with church life, governance, buildings and worship. Churchwardens work closely with Archdeacons and their offices.