Festival Church

There has been much interest in Festival Churches, and the label means different things to different people.  In this Diocese, we are using the Festival Church title as a way of supporting parishes to ‘reboot’ their mission and worship, and engage positively with the local community.  It is NOT a step on the road to closure. Instead, it is a positive, proactive approach to doing less, but doing it much better. A Festival Church is an open parish church, which will still have financial obligations to meet, such as insurance, heating, lighting, parish offer, and maintenance, but it will better placed to rely on wider community support to meet these costs.

The resources for Festival Churches will support parishes to stay open by doing fewer, but higher quality services – so, quality over quantity. Services can be reduced to a minimum of 6 per year, celebrating in particular those festivals and events which mark the pattern of rural and community life, including Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and Harvest festival, as well as life events such as baptisms, funerals and weddings.  The resources are designed to help you do this and include support with planning, publicising and holding a range of services and events. Many of these will be delivered by the laity and encouraging wider community support.

Church of England: What Is A Festival Church?

Resources from the Conference on Festival Churches focusing on Mission and Community held at Sheffield Cathedral on 25th March 2019

Festival Churches for Mission by Joseph Elders

Churches for Everyone Presentation by Wendy Coombey

Norwich Diocesan Churches Trust Presentation