Major Mission

Major Parish Churches represent some of the most significant and well-loved places of worship in England. The Church Buildings Council (CBC) has identified 300 such churches across the country, which includes some of the churches in our Diocese. Major churches tend to be in towns, although not exclusively, and are usually surrounded by larger areas of population. This offers them a fantastic opportunity to widely support their local communities. In the opinion of the CBC, a Major Parish Church has all or most of the following characteristics: (possessing one of the first two means automatic recognition as a Major Mission Church):

  • exceptional significance and/or issues necessitating a Conservation Management Plan;
  • physically very big (usually over 1000m2 footprint – check the Church Heritage Record);
  • Grade I, II* or (exceptionally) II listed;
  • are usually open to visitors daily, or strive for this;
  • have a role or roles beyond those of a typical parish church;
  • make a considerable civic, cultural and economic contribution to their communities.

Due to the significance of Major Churches, the CBC advises that all such churches by definition would benefit from a Conservation Management Plan (CMP), and will offer support to help them achieve this; any parish bidding for this status must be prepared to work with the CBC in this regard if no CMP is in place. See the CBC guidance on CMPs, which also gives a more detailed description of its criteria for Major Parish Churches.