Somewhat quaintly, churchwardens are expected to lead parishioners by setting a good example and encouraging unity and peace, with a particular duty to maintain order and peace in the church and churchyard at all times (with powers to eject anyone disturbing a service and to apprehend and take before a magistrate anyone behaving violently, riotously or indecently in the church or churchyard or molesting or vexing any preacher or clergyman).
More prosaically, churchwardens are legally responsible for all the property and moveable goods belonging to a parish church. Inevitably therefore they have a significant part to play in the delivery of projects like the bells or the restoration of the clock. Our two churchwardens see their role very simply to make our church a nice place to visit. St Etheldreda is part of Horley and they love seeing it being used, whether as a place as worship or for celebration of a wedding, musical concert or village fete. They keep an eye on the maintenance of the building – no mean task given its age and structure – and the grounds around it. They also co-ordinate events and ensure that particular requirements for the layout of the church, staging or whatever are met. Visitors appreciate the fact that the church is kept open and recognise that it is a lovely space in which to sit, think and reflect on how lucky the village is to have it.