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The west end of Selby Abbey

The Greater Churches Network is a self-help organisation within the Church of England. These Greater Churches are defined as "non-cathedral churches which, by virtue of their great age, size, historical, architectural, or ecclesiastical importance, display many of the characteristics of a cathedral", and those which " fulfil a role which is additional to that of a normal parish church".[1] Founded in 1991, there are currently 55 churches within the Greater Churches Network.

Several of these buildings are former monastic properties that were converted to parish church use after the English Reformation. Others are large parish churches built at a time of great wealth. What they share in common are the requirements to offer facilities to a large number of visitors, host special services, offer community access and fund the specialist maintenance and repair of these large buildings, most of which are Grade I listed.


It aims to provide help and mutual support to its member churches in dealing with the special problems of running a "cathedral-like" church with the organisation and financial structure of a parish church. The group meets every two years in conference to share ideas.[2]


  1. ^ About us at
  2. ^ Church of England Year Book 2008. London: Church House Publishing. 2007. ISBN 0-7151-1027-6.

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