Diocese of St Albans

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Coordinates: 51°45′07″N 0°20′20″W / 51.752°N 0.339°W / 51.752; -0.339

Diocese of Saint Albans
Ecclesiastical province Canterbury
Archdeaconries Bedford, Hertford, St Albans
Parishes 335
Churches 411
Cathedral St Albans Cathedral
Current leadership
Bishop Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans
Suffragans Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford
Bishop of Hertford (Vacant)
Archdeacons Trevor Jones, Archdeacon of Hertford
Paul Hughes, Archdeacon of Bedford
Jonathan Smith, Archdeacon of St Albans

The Diocese of St Albans forms part of the Province of Canterbury in England and is part of the wider Church of England, in turn part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The diocese is home to more than 1.6 million people and comprises the historic Counties of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, or in terms of local government areas, Bedfordshire, Luton, Hertfordshire and parts of the London Borough of Barnet. It therefore ranges from small rural communities in villages and hamlets to major urban centres like Luton, Bedford, Watford and Hemel Hempstead, and includes suburban areas on London's outer reaches.


The new diocese was founded relatively recently by an Order in Council on 4 May 1877,[1] implementing the Bishopric of St Albans Act 1875.

The diocese was established from parts of the large Diocese of Rochester, extending the new bishop's jurisdiction over more than 600 parishes in the two counties of Essex and Hertfordshire.

The first Bishop of St Albans was Thomas Legh Claughton, who served from 1877 to 1890.

The see is in the City of St Albans, where the cathedra (bishop's seat) is located in St Albans Cathedral. The cathedral building itself dates from 1077. It was an abbey church (part of St Albans Abbey) prior to its dissolution in 1539, and then a parish church (purchased by the town in 1553) until its elevation to cathedral status in 1877.

In 1914, the new Diocese of Chelmsford was formed, removing Essex from the St Albans diocese. A few months later the county Archdeaconry of Bedford was added from the Diocese of Ely, thereby providing the diocese substantially with its current boundaries.

The suffragan bishopric of Bedford was revived in 1879 and again in 1935 and that of Hertford was created in 1968.

Current geographical limits and structure[edit]

The diocese currently includes:

The diocese is overseen by the Bishop of St Albans, whose cathedra (or seat) is in St Albans Cathedral. He is supported in his pastoral work in the diocese by two suffragan bishops, the Bishop of Hertford and the Bishop of Bedford as well as three archdeacons.

The diocese is divided into three archdeaconries:

The diocesan offices are located in Holywell Hill in St Albans.

Archdeacon of Hertford[edit]

In the late 11th/early 12th century, Archdeacon Nicholas of Lincoln diocese was called "Archdeacon of Cambridge, Huntingdon and Hertford.[2]

The Archdeaconry of Hertford was created by Order in Council on 1 January 1997 from the eastern parts of the Archdeaconry of St Albans, which at the time was one of the largest archdeaconries in England.[3] There has been only one Archdeacon of Hertford since the archdeaconry's institution: the incumbent, The Venerable Trevor Jones.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24453. p. 2933. 4 May 1877. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  2. ^ Greenway, Diana E., Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300 2, pp. 50–52 
  3. ^ Diocese of St Albans – History of the Archdeaconries
  4. ^ "Jones, Ven. Trevor Pryce". Who's Who 2013. Who's Who (December 2012 online ed.). A & C Black an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 

External links[edit]