The Church of England is made up of 41 dioceses. Each diocese is divided into parishes. The Diocese of London is a patchwork of parishes covering 277 square miles of Greater London north of the Thames from Staines in the west to the Isle of Dogs in the east and as far north as Enfield.
The parish is the heart of the Church of England. Each parish is overseen by a parish priest, usually called a vicar or rector. From ancient times through to today, they, and their bishop, are responsible for the ‘cure of souls’ in their parish. That includes everyone. And this explains why parish priests are so involved with the key issues and problems affecting the whole community.
To find your nearest parish church, see our directory. For churches outside of the Diocese of London, visit A Church Near You.
Other forms of church presence
Parish churches remain at the core of our understanding of how we serve our city. London is a series of small villages and neighbourhoods, and the concept of ‘parish’ still has real traction, even though people may commute across parish boundaries to attend their church of choice. Overlaying the parish system, and complementary to it, are other forms including chaplaincies, youth & ethnically-based congregations and ‘missional communities’.
Image: St Pancras Parish Church by Steve Cadman used under Creative Commons licence.