Wider Church

The Parish within the Church of England

Some background information about the place of the Parish in the Church of England, and some links to relevant websites with much more information..

The Parish of Wargrave with Knowl Hill is within the Deanery of Sonning, in the Archdeaconry of Reading, which is a part of the Diocese of Oxford.This is the formal structure of The Church of England, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. 

Working backwards through this organisational structure:

The Anglican Communion

The worldwide Anglican Communion comprises 38 self-governing Member Churches or Provinces that share several things in common including doctrine, ways of worshipping, mission, and a focus of unity in the Archbishop of Canterbury. Formal mechanisms for meeting include the Lambeth Conference. Much more information can be found on the  Anglican Communion Official Website

One can also note the role played by  Anglican Mainstream,  a community within the Anglican Communion committed to promote, teach and maintain the Scriptural truths on which the Anglican Church was founded. These also guarantee its fellowship with Christians down history and throughout the world. Faithfulness to Scripture as God's Word is essential for sharing the love and purpose of God in Jesus Christ.

Here is a recent paper on the theme of human sexuality as part of an ongoing discussion, along with many other contemporary themes.

The Church of England

Full information about its history, doctrine, structure and procedures can be found on its Official Website. Justin Welby has taken up his role as  The Archbishop of Canterbury. Its "Governing Body"  is The General Synod which meets usually three times a year. A Synod is a formal meeting of Christians by which the Church is governed.  These have taken place from the Council of Jerusalem (described in the Bible in Acts 15) onwards, and such General Councils have regulated doctrine and discipline.  More locally, synods meet in the various provinces of the Church to govern its affairs.  The Church of England has three tiers of Synods:  the General Synod; Diocesan Synods, and Deanery Synods.

One can also note the role played by Anglican Mission in England  for promoting mission, biblical church planting and the selection, training and deployment of ordinands for mission and ministry, authentically based upon the Bible and our Articles of Religion in the Church of England.  It is about protecting unity with those Anglicans looking in on the Church of England and assuring them that they can still maintain unity with us. It also enables Anglican ministers to remain within the Church of England, and gives a true basis for unity among evangelicals within the Church of England and across the Anglican Communion. 

The Diocese of Oxford

Full information about its structure, personnel, procedures and activities can be found on its Official Website. (This includes a useful list of Diocesan Staff). It covers the three counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.  Its "Governing Body" is The Diocesan Synod. As the largest Diocese in the country in terms of the number of parishes and clergy, it is divided into three Episcopal Areas, The Bishop of Oxford The Rt Rev Steven Croft was Inaugurated at the Cathedral on the 30th September 2016 and pictures of him and a video of the Service can be seen on the DIocesan Official Website. In the case of Berkshire, the Area Bishop of Reading is The Rt Revd. Andrew Proud.   

The Deanery of Sonning

Our Parish lies within Sonning Deanery a group of 16 parishes roughly corresponding to Wokingham Borough, under the leadership of Revd Julie Ramsbottom (Area Dean) and  Martin Hughes (Lay Chairman). It meets around five times a year. (If you wonder why it is designated as Sonning  Deanery, this goes back to the very early days of the Church in England; in Saxon times, the village was of considerable importance as the lesser centre of the bishopric of Ramsbury, sometimes called the see of Ramsbury and Sonning, until in 1058 it was incorporated into the Diocese of Salisbury).

The Parish of Wargrave with Knowl Hill

The Parish of Wargrave has a long history going back certainly to the 12th Century, and quite probably to Saxon times. Knowl Hill however was only formed from parts of Wargrave and Hurley parishes in 1841, later was joined with Littlewick Green, and most recently, in 2003, was (re)united with Wargrave, whilst Littlewick Green returned to the enlarged parish of Stubbings, which includes the original Hurley parish. It is organised as a single Benefice (under the Vicar, John Cook), with a single PCC (Parochial Church Council), but with separate pairs of Churchwardens for each of the Parish Churches of St. Mary's and St. Peter's. (St. Paul's, Warren Row, was built in 1894 as a Mission Church of St. Peter's).


The structure of Synods described above is supported by a corresponding series of elected lay and clergy representatives. Our Parish elects up to five lay representatives to the Deanery Synod (who are also ex officio members of our PCC). The clergy of the Parish are also members of the Deanery Synod. These parish representatives in turn elect lay and clergy representatives respectively to both the Diocesan Synod and the General Synod. 

We are a Fairtrade Parish
Parish Office

Mill Green,Station Road, Wargrave, Berkshire, RG10 8EU       Tel: 0118 940 2300       Email:
CCL Licence No: 197754      Registered Charity 1129390
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