The Church of England stands near the centre of community life in Jersey. Rectors are expected to embrace this responsibility and to build good relationships with the Parish Secretary and Office. The Rectors also need to have a close working relationship with their churchwardens, who have titles and are also members of the Municipality. Respectively they are Surveillant Trésor – responsible for overseeing the maintenance and repair of the church and rectory – and the Surveillant Pastoral.
In the twelve ancient parishes, the Municipal authorities are responsible for the maintenance and repair of both the church and the rectory. These are Civil Parish, as opposed to Church of England, properties. To manage this arrangement, the Church and Civil Parish are both represented on a committee known as the Rectorat. This is chaired either by the Rector or the Rector and the Connétable alternatively. The other members are the two churchwardens and the two Parish procurors. In this respect the organisation and function of the twelve Municipal Parishes follows French custom and ancient practice.
In addition to the twelve ancient Parishes in the Jersey Deanery, there is the Proprietary Chapel of St. Paul’s, the Ecclesiastical District of St. Martin de Gouray and four District churches: All Saints with St Simon, St Andrew, St Luke and St Mark. Each has its own Vicar, whose role is similar to that of a vicar in a UK church.
The main difference between the ancient Parishes and the district Churches in the Deanery of Jersey is that in the district churches, the congregation of the church is entirely responsible for the maintenance of the church. These church buildings do not belong to the Church of England but to the Trustees of each church.
Unlike England and Wales, our churches do not have Parochial Church Councils (PCCs). The Rector or Vicar, together with the churchwardens, have primary responsibility in law for leading the local church and agreeing mission priorities. However, in most churches, they are assisted by a ‘church advisory committee’ (the name varies) which is a forum for clergy, lay ministers, churchwardens and elected lay representatives to meet, pray and plan together.
Most of the Churches have a part-time administrator to assist the clergy and churchwardens with practical requirements. Details of the contact arrangements and office hours are on the respective church page.