The Church in Wales is divided into dioceses, which each contain archdeaconries. The archdeaconries contain deaneries, which contain benefices. Each benefice can contain one or more parishes and the parishes can consist of one or more churches.
- The Church in Wales is made up of six dioceses.
- Archdeaconries are areas within dioceses. Each archdeaconry contains several deaneries.
- Every benefice is part of a Deanery, which is a grouping of several benefices. Deanery activities are co-ordinated by an Area Dean (sometimes also called “Rural Dean”, but not to be confused with a Cathedral Dean), who also has responsibility for any vacant benefices within the Deanery. The post of Area Dean is usually taken by one of the senior clerics within the Deanery.
- A cleric may be put in charge of one parish, or of several. A benefice is the description given to the area over which a cleric has responsibility. A benefice can comprise one or more parishes. Please remember that benefice names are ecclesiastical in origin, and may not bear any relation to the civil name of the locality.
- The Church in Wales is made up of over 900 parishes. If you live in Wales, you will live in a parish. Each parish covers a specific geographic area and is looked after by a cleric assigned to it. Parishes (which form part of a benefice) possess one or more churches.