Our Ecclesiastical Team comprises leading experts in this highly specialist and complex area of law.

Our Ecclesiastical Team has a wide range of legal experience, but now specialise in this area, working primarily for Church of England clients.

We offer advice on all aspects of the law of the Church of England to clergy, laity, church officers, parishes, dioceses and the national church institutions as well as to bishops and cathedral deans and chapters.

Years of experience and practice have given our team a deep appreciation of the priorities of clergy and laity at a local level, as well as the pressures and strategic challenges faced by diocesan bishops, senior staff, and boards of finance and education. Our lawyers are committed to the Church’s mission and ministry, and to supporting these priorities.

Our experience and client base

We act for parishes and their clergy and senior lay administrative staff, as well as diocesan and suffragan bishops, diocesan secretaries, senior diocesan staff and diocesan boards of finance and education.

Birketts currently hosts three diocesan registries: James Hall is registrar of the diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich (since 1998), and Stuart Jones is registrar of the dioceses of Norwich (since 2009) and London (since 2020). Kevin Wilson is deputy in all three.

In addition, we provide a full service, advising on other legal topics applicable to the church, including employment, data protection, safeguarding, property, dispute resolution, construction, commercial contracts, environmental, and charity law.

Our Registry clients benefit from this wide spectrum of legal knowledge from lawyers who understand the structures and workings of the Church of England.

Our expertise

  • PCC governance
  • The application of the Canons
  • Marriage law
  • Parish registers
  • Housing
  • Safeguarding
  • Terms and conditions of service
  • The faculty process
  • Churchyard and burial matters
  • Statutory roles
  • Constitution and governance
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Land and foundation trusts
  • Licensing
  • Property
  • Charity law
  • Complaints

Contact Us
Contact Us
For general enquiries please call +44 (0)808 169 4320 or send a message from our Contact us page.