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Archdeacon’s Parochial Visitation

The Archdeacon carries out a visitation to every parish (and usually to all the church buildings within the parish) on a three-yearly cycle. (This is not the same as the Archdeacon’s Annual Visitation at which Churchwardens are admitted). The purpose of the visitation is to check that the parish is complying with the requirements of various Measures; in particular, the Inspection of Churches Measures 1955, the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978 and the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991.

Visitations will entail the issue by the Archdeacon’s Office of a Questionnaire to be completed and returned to the Office before the Visitation is due to take place. The Archdeacon will require to see and inspect all parochial registers and records held in the parish, the inventory and log book, the minute and account books, insurance policies, the PCC’s policies on child protection, employees’ contracts, and insurance policies; to review progress on quinquennial works; and to inspect the storage of valuables and to inspect the buildings and curtilage, and security and safety systems, and to see the PCC’s Mission Action Plan. The Archdeacon will wish to meet the incumbent and churchwardens and PCC treasurer, and possibly the whole PCC. A report by the Archdeacon will be made after each visitation has been completed.

Area Deans may at the request of the Archdeacon undertake a visitation on behalf of the Archdeacon.

Canon Law

Canons related to the Archdeacon’s Parochial Visitation include:

Terrier and Inventory (Canon F17)

The Incumbent and Churchwardens must keep a full record of all lands, goods and other possessions of the Church.

Every three years, the Archdeacon, or the Area Dean acting on the Archdeacon’s behalf, shall inspect and sign the Terrier and Inventory.

The Log Book (Canon F13(4))

A record of all alterations, additions, repairs and removals, however minor, must be kept in the Log Book. It must indicate where all specifications and plans are kept, if they are not kept with the Log Book.

Survey of Churches (Canon F18)

The Archdeacon, or Area Dean acting on the Archdeacon’s behalf, must survey the church, the chancel and churchyard, every three years. The Archdeacon shall give directions for any repairs or work needed on the fabric, ornaments or furniture.

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