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Diocese of Canterbury

Diocese of Canterbury
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Canterbury
Coat of arms
Flag of the Diocese of Canterbury
Ecclesiastical province Canterbury
Archdeaconries Canterbury, Ashford, Maidstone
Parishes 261
Churches 335
Cathedral Canterbury Cathedral
Current leadership
Bishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Suffragans Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover
Norman Banks, Bishop of Richborough (AEO)
Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet (AEO)[1]
Rod Thomas, Bishop of Maidstone (AEO)[2]
Archdeacons Sheila Watson, Archdeacon of Canterbury
Philip Down, Archdeacon of Ashford
Stephen Taylor, Archdeacon of Maidstone

The Diocese of Canterbury is a Church of England diocese covering eastern Kent which was founded by St. Augustine of Canterbury in 597. The diocese is centred on Canterbury Cathedral and is the oldest see of the Church of England.

For organisational purposes, the diocese is divided into three archdeaconries,[3] containing a total of fifteen deaneries:


  • Bishops 1
  • See also 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The diocesan bishop is the Archbishop of Canterbury, presently Justin Welby. However, because of his roles as metropolitan bishop of the Province of Canterbury, Primate of All England and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the archbishop (whose primary residence is at Lambeth Palace in London) is very often away from the diocese. Therefore, one of his suffragan bishops, the Bishop of Dover (Trevor Wilmott), is in many ways empowered to act almost as if he were the diocesan bishop.

There was, until 2009, another suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Maidstone, but it was decided in November 2010 that no further appointments would be made to that post.[5] Two further suffragans whose sees are located in the diocese — Ebbsfleet and Richborough — are really provincial episcopal visitors with a focus more wide-ranging than the local diocese. On 4 December 2014, it was announced that the see of Maidstone would be filled again in order to provide a further provincial episcopal visitor for particular conservative evangelical members of the Church who take a minority view on "headship".[2]

Besides the Archbishop and the Bishop of Dover, several other men are licensed as bishops in the diocese. Alternative episcopal oversight (for parishes in the diocese who reject the ministry of priests who are women) is provided by the provincial episcopal visitor (PEV) the Bishop suffragan of Richborough, Norman Banks. Unlike most in dioceses, Banks does not need to be licensed as an honorary assistant bishop since he is a suffragan in the diocese. There are four honorary assistant bishops licensed in the diocese:

See also


  1. ^ Bishop of Ebbsfleet (Accessed 2 August 2013)
  2. ^ a b Thinking Anglicans – Appointment of a bishop who takes a conservative evangelical view on headship (Accessed 4 December 2014)
  3. ^ Diocese of Canterbury — Order creating the Archdeaconry of Ashford
  4. ^ Canterbury Diocese – People and Places
  5. ^ Canterbury Diocese — Synod News
  6. ^ Gear, Rt Rev. Michael Frederick.  
  7. ^ Turnbull, Rt Rev. Michael.  
  8. ^ Llewellin, Rt Rev. (John) Richard (Allan).  
  9. ^ Cray, Rt Rev. Graham Alan.  


  • Church of England Statistics 2002

External links

  • Official site
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