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/ 12 June 2014

The importance of the English Parish Church

Baroness Wilcox of Plymouth, Chairman of London’s Diocesan Advisory Committee, spoke today in the House of Lords on the importance of the parish church.

The diocese of London consists of 480 parish churches, each with its own defined parochial area. The diocese covers London north of the Thames from the M25 in the west as far as the River Lee in the east, including the heart of the East End, the City, the West End, Metroland and beyond. The rest of greater London is shared between the dioceses of Southwark, Rochester and Chelmsford. I need hardly remind noble Lords of the great diversity and stark contrasts to be found in these places, from the hardest pressed urban deprivation to the richest square mile in the world, with every inch of this area having its own parish church—whether it wants to use it or not. The best English parish churches do not conform to any defined standard imposed from above. They find their place among their local community and grow out of it, imaginatively tailoring their activities to the needs of their locality.

Read Lady Wilcox’s full contribution to the debate at Hansard

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