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bishop, diocese, parish? Options
Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 12:42:04 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/7/2019
Posts: 207
Neurons: 2,595
Location: Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
Hello all,

Religious administrative system seems too complicated to me.
I wonder if I can compare the system with China's public administrative system.

Take a "province" (which equals a "state" in the United states) , under the central government(which equals the federal government in the United states), China's public administrative system goes like this:

Province ----> City -----> County ----> Town ----> Village

And the corresponding chief official:
Governor -> Mayor -> County Chief -> Town Chief-> Head of the village committee.

I think religious organizations should have a similar administrative system.
Would anyone show me how the Church of England is organized?

Thank you.
Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 1:06:16 AM
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Joined: 4/1/2018
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Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 5:51:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
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The most important local administrative it in people's lives is the parish. That is a small community around a church - ie one village or part of a town. (There can be more than one church in a parish if it covers several small villages)

The parish used to administer welfare before there was a national welfare system, and when the parish church was the heart of the community - every village had a parish church, a school and a pub or two.

It even gives rise to the adjective 'parochial', which means both related to the parish, and having a restricted outlook.

Above that, only church-goers really care about the bishopric and archbishopric. I think most people have little idea about the structure of the C of E apart from the Archbishop and maybe their regional bishop.

Eg, in my village there is a parish church in the village (religious) and a parish council (administrative).
Above that administratively is the borough council and the county council.

Above that religiously I guess there is a bishopric (I only know where that is because the castle in the town was the seat of the bishop of a nearby cathedral city. It is actually a very old castle inside, but it isn't very famous because it was continually occupied and over the centuries turned into more of a fortified manor house - that is more what it looks like from the outside. It didn't become a glorious ruin because the people inside very intelligently surrendered any time anyone tried to attack them, so it has stayed intact and just developed instead of being stuck in one time period!Whistle )

Eg not my village but a nearby one

Religious (Church of England):
Parish of Tilford
The Parish office is The Vicarage, Tilford Road, Tilford.
It is in the Diocese of Guildford (a small city with a bishop and a cathedral, Guildford Cathedral)

The Diocese of Guildford is within the Province of Canterbury (The Archbishop of Canterbury, the senior Churchman of the Church of England).

In the Diocese of Guildford there are two Archdeaconries (Dorking and Surrey) and those have six and seven deaconries respectively, which are the names of towns but are not every town in the region. There is a Suffragan Bishop of Dorking, whatever that means!

So - Diocese of Guildford.

Deaneries in the Diocese:
Archdeaconry of Dorking

Archdeaconry of Surrey
>Aldershot (which is actually a town in Hampshire, not Surrey - these are not constrained by modern county boundaries)
>Surrey Heath

Selecting Farnham, there are many local parishes.
Deanery of Farnham:
>Badshot Lea and Hale
>The Bourne
>Crondall & Ewshot
>Headley All Saints

Selecting the parish of Tilford, that is a village with one church.

The Church hall in Tilford is where the school children go to eat lunch, and all village events are held. No reference to religion - it is a community asset.

The Parish Council is the smallest political administrative unit. Nothing to do with religion. It decides local bylaws, roadworks, footpaths etc. And administers some small business grants.

Parish Council
What do we do?
The Parish Council duties include:

Management of recreation ground, and facilities and specific land within the Parish
Review and comment on planning applications within the Parish
Liaise with relevant authorities regarding infrastructure/policing/community issues to represent your views and get the best advantage for the local area
Engage with all interested parties regarding current and future shape of life in the local area

Who are we?
The Parish has Councillors elected by the residents every four years. For more information on your Councillors click here

Above that is the borough and the county, then the UK Parliament with a local MP. That is only true for England.
Different systems in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, because religiously they are not Church of England and administratively the countries have very different political administrative systems.

Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 7:27:29 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/7/2019
Posts: 207
Neurons: 2,595
Location: Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
Thank you both for your time, thar and BobShilling.
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