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The Greater Churches Network
is a self-help organisation within the Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...
. There are currently 32 churches within the Greater Churches Network.
Several of these buildings are former monastic properties
An abbey is a Catholic monastery or convent, under the authority of an Abbot or an Abbess, who serves as the spiritual father or mother of the community.The term can also refer to an establishment which has long ceased to function as an abbey,...
that were converted to parish church use after the English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....
. 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
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...
-like" church with the organisation and financial structure of a parish church
A parish church , in Christianity, is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish, the basic administrative unit of episcopal churches....
. The group meets every two years in conference to share ideas.