A NEW registrar has been appointed to provide legal advice and support for more than 600 parishes in the Diocese of Oxford.

Oxford-based solicitor Darren Oliver, formerly deputy registrar, is now registrar, acting alongside the Rev Canon John Rees, advising parishes and church officers on the variety of legal matters arising in parish life.

The Diocesan Registry services are provided by London-based Winckworth Sherwood Solicitors, in which Mr Oliver is a senior associate and Canon Rees is the senior partner.

The appointment has been made Rt Rev Steven Croft, the Bishop of Oxford.

Mr Oliver said: “I feel very honoured that Bishop Steven has appointed me as registrar of the diocese to act alongside John Rees, who has been serving in that capacity for a good number of years.

“I have been working closely with him during the last decade.”

Mr Oliver has been overseeing a number of modernisation projects in church buildings.

He also works with Cordelia Hall, a charity lawyer, who is a deputy registrar, and Sara Leader and Helen Lambourne, the diocesan registry clerks.

The registrar is the Bishop of Oxford’s legal adviser, as well as registrar of the diocesan synod, the governing council of the diocese. The role involves being clerk to Oxford consistory court – the body making decisions on building works.