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Parishes, Benefices and Deaneries

by Michael Ford last modified 23 Apr, 2020 10:07 AM

Find out more about the structure of the Diocese...

A parish is the basic territorial unit in the Church of England. There are currently 442 parishes in the Diocese but this figure can change when parish re-organisation takes place.

Updated Listing The updated 'A Church Near You' website

All our parishes are listed on a national website.  The website shows parish and church locations on an interactive map.   Click the links below to find out more:
FAQs here
'Find a Parish' search 
Parishes in the Church of England 
Our parish websites 
A benefice consists of a single parish or group of parishes, normally under the care of an incumbent, although a number of other arrangements are possible. We currently have 136 benefices, although this can change when we undertake pastoral re-organisation, for example where benefices join together to form a team. 
A deanery is a group of neighbouring benefices forming an administrative area. Each deanery is overseen by a Rural Dean (an ordained minister) and a Lay Chairman (not ordained).  Each deanery has a Deanery Synod made up of the clergy and elected lay representatives from the parishes.  The Deanery Synod is a forum for the parishes to exchange views on issues affecting the Deanery.  Its members also elect representatives to the Diocesan Synod and also to the General Synod, which is the legislative and deliberative body of the Church of England.  The Diocese of Salisbury has 19 deaneries, each of which come under one of four Archdeaconries - Sarum, Wilts, Sherborne and Dorset.

Click here for a list of our deaneries

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