Which Parish do I live in?

Tue, 07/04/2009 - 17:09 -- James Oakley

TL;DR

Are you trying to find out which Church of England Parish you live in? Simply put your postcode into the search tool below:



The Church of England's Parish System

I don't know how long this has been the case. If you know, please leave a comment to educate me about this. However, England is divided up into a number of distinct, non-overlapping, spanning, ecclesiastical parishes. This is a parallel system to the civic parish system (think of your local parish council, that manages footpaths, considers local planning requests and so on). However whilst the concept is the same, it is not the same as the civil parish system. One ecclesiastical parish may span several civil parishes, or the other way around, or anything.

Needing to Know Which Parish You're In: Banns of Marriage

People rarely need to know which church's Parish they live in. One time when you do need to know this, however, is if you want to get married in a church. There are a number of ways you can be eligible to marry in a particular church; the number of ways you can qualify has increased significantly since the 2008 Marriage Measure. But the most straight-forward is to live in the Parish for the church you would like to have your wedding in. Regardless of whether you plan to marry in your local parish church, or another one, you would need (usually) to have your Banns of Marriage published. They need to be published in the Parish the groom lives in, and the Parish in which the bride lives. They also (if this isn't already covered) need to be published in the church where the wedding is to take place, where the phrase "of the Parish of St Michael's Puddleton", or similar, is included.

So, if you were planning a church wedding, you would need to know which Parish you live in.

Or, you need to know someone who can tell you.

Like your local vicar.

Like me.

Oh dear. That means I need to know how to find out.

Well:

A Tool to Look Up your Parish

Click on the Parish Finder from A Church Near You and you can find out where the parish boundaries fall. Just enter your postcode. Click where your actual house is. The website tells you which parish you live in, and shows you the boundary (just in case you live very close to it, and you accidentally clicked slightly in the wrong place). It also gives a link you can click on to view a push-pin showing where the parish church itself is.

Useful.

If you need to know that kind of thing.

Which you probably don't. But if this helps someone who found this through a search-engine, I'm glad.

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Comments

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

I Live in Swansea and have tried a church near you search engine only problem is because in Wales Church of England is Church in Wales its not turning out any results for me when I enter my postcode, can anyone help?

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Sorry to say this: As far as I know, "A Church Near You" is run by the Church of England, so only covers parishes in England. This is confusing, because the Church in Wales is more similar to the Church of England, being established, than is the Episcopal Church in Scotland. There are therefore more points of contact between the two in practice.

There may be some equivalent such resource for Wales, but I'm afraid I don't know about that.

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