A churchwarden’s checklist

03 March 2020

Churchwardens are some of the most valuable volunteers in a church, bearing much of the responsibility for its upkeep and day-to-day running.

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Periodic inspections

Planning church maintenance

  • Plan any essential works for the church building, as noted on the last quinquennial report.
  • Have arrangements in place for routine maintenance, including the regular clearance of gutters and down-pipes to prevent blockages.
  • Have arrangements in place for maintenance of the churchyard.
  • Make arrangements for the care and cleaning of the church’s interior, church linen and other ornaments and vessels.

Presentation and care of church records

  • It is recommended that you produce/maintain an inventory or terrier, together with a photographic record of valuables (including stained glass windows) to aid recovery/replacement of valuable items if stolen or seriously damaged. A copy of this document should be kept away from the church e.g. at the home of a Church official.
  • Check the service book records and registers for burials, baptisms and marriages are up-to-date.
  • Keep church registers, records and books in a satisfactory condition and properly stored or deposited within the archives. 
  • Ensure storage of any personal data is secure in line with data protection law.
  • Back-up any files which are stored electronically and make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date.  
  • Make sure any external and internal noticeboards are up-to-date and in good order.
  • Ensure the current Table of Parochial Fees is displayed clearly in the church.
  • Ensure the Churchyard Directive is displayed prominently and publicly.
  • Have up-to-date church guidebooks available and, if appropriate, make them available in other languages.
  • If there is a logbook for your church, make sure it is kept up-to-date.
  • Keep a plan of your churchyard and make sure it is up-to-date.

Finances

  • Keep a note of clergy expenses for the year.
  • Keep your church insurance up-to-date and ensure any significant changes to the buildings or the church’s usual activities are reported to your insurer.
  • Investigate avenues for funding such as Ecclesiastical’s Movement for Good or Allchurches Trust grants.
 
If you’d like to know more about the role of the churchwarden, your diocese can provide you with a guide, and you’ll find a number of books available commercially too. 
 
We also have a range of made simple guides available to support you in your role: