Last edited 26 Nov 2021

Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011

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Contents

[edit] Introduction

The Mission and Pastoral Measure (MPM) 2011 makes provision for the legal reorganisation of parishes and benefices, dioceses and the closure and re-use of consecrated church buildings that are no longer needed.

The MPM allows bishops to:

The MPM is divided into two volumes. Volume 1 deals primarily with pastoral reorganisation while Volume 2 (Dealing with Consecrated Church Buildings) addresses issues around church buildings. Within Volume 2, chapters 12 to 24 cover sections of the MPM that relate to church buildings, including Part 4 (Procedure for making pastoral church building schemes) and Part 6 (Buildings closed for regular public worship).

[edit] MPM Volume 2 under review

In 2020, the Legislative Reform Committee was tasked by the Archbishops' Council to oversee a review of the MPM. The review was led by the Parish Reorganisation and Church Property Department. It was intended to allow the Church of England to develop a proposal for what an improved and simplified MPM could look like in the anticipation that detailed legislative proposals would follow.

In summer 2021, the Green Paper: Mission in Revision (GS 2222) was published. The Green Paper noted that the number of church buildings has been on the decline since 1941. The impact of the Second World War on the built environment led to serious consideration of how the disposal of church buildings could be managed and what uses would be suitable.

Since the 1990s, the closure rate of churches has remained at roughly 20 to 25 per annum. For the majority of closures, an alternative use was found.

Parts of the Green Paper explored specific options for change relating to the reuse of church buildings including:

  • Omitting the requirement for Church Buildings Council (CBC) reports before church closure proposals.
  • Providing for an interim or alternative status to churches being “open” or “closed”.
  • Simplifying the requirements around the future use of closed churches and dealing with the disturbance of human remains.

At a July 2021 meeting of the General Synod, members approved the consultation paper for the review of the MPM. The initial consultation on the paper closed on 31 October 2021. An analysis of the responses was scheduled for 2022.

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