Archdeacons' Visitations 2020

Every year, within the 42 dioceses of the Church of England, the Archdeacons Visitations take place. In the Diocese of Lichfield these are held in deanery groupings within each of the four Archdeaconries - Lichfield, Salop, Stoke-upon-Trent and Walsall - following the annual election of Churchwardens in May.

Formally, the Visitations were a court where all Clergy and Churchwardens were cited to attend. More recently the format has changed so they take the form of a service, the key part of which is the official admittance of Churchwardens as office holders of the Diocesan Bishop. During the service, the Archdeacon also delivers a sermon called the Archdeacons Charge, the aim of which is to offer advice, encouragement and support to parishes in general and Churchwardens in particular.

Update October 2020 From Bishop Michael:

Due to the ongoing restrictions due to COVID-19, I have taken the decision to ‘inhibit’ the Archdeacons Visitations during which newly elected churchwardens are admitted to their office. This is in accordance with the procedure mentioned in Canon C22(5) and following Canon E1.2(a).

Those who have been elected as churchwarden should present themselves for admission to their incumbent or priest-in-charge; or, where these are not available, to their Rural Dean or Assistant Rural Dean, showing them a valid DBS certificate. This can take place before 31 October 2020 if an annual meeting of parishioners has already taken place, and no later than 31 January 2021.

I ask therefore that churchwardens be admitted locally, after those newly elected have confirmed that they have a valid DBS certificate. If needed churchwardens can be admitted to their role online.

All the documents needed are available below.


Promise card - district warden

Parish Declaration Form

Nature and duties of the office of a churchwarden

My promise as a churchwarden

Admitting churchwardens

Admitting a churchwarden individually

DBS requirement for churchwardens

Churchwarden declaration form

Churchwarden induction handbook


If you have any further questions please liaise with one of our Archdeacons in the first instance.

Page last updated: 12th October 2020 9:26 AM