Diocese of Ripon and Leeds

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Coordinates: 54°08′06″N 1°31′12″W / 54.135°N 1.520°W / 54.135; -1.520

Diocese of Ripon and Leeds
Ecclesiastical province York
Archdeaconries Richmond, Leeds
Parishes 161
Churches 269
Cathedral Ripon Cathedral
Current leadership
Bishop John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds
Suffragan James Bell, Bishop of Knaresborough
Archdeacons Paul Hooper, Archdeacon of Leeds
Archdeacon of Richmond (Vacant; Acting archdeacon: Paul Slater, Archdeacon of Craven)

The Diocese of Ripon and Leeds is an administrative division of the Church of England, part of the Province of York. It covers an area in western and northern Yorkshire as well as the south Teesdale area administered by County Durham which is traditionally part of Yorkshire. The cities of Ripon and Leeds are within its boundaries as are the towns of Harrogate, Richmond, Knaresborough, Hawes and Bedale and the surrounding countryside. Its northern boundary is the River Tees.

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds has his cathedral church at Ripon. The diocese is also served by a suffragan Bishop of Knaresborough and is divided into two archdeaconries, those of Richmond and Leeds. For organizational purposes, the diocese is further divided into eight deaneries: Richmond, Wensley, Ripon, Harrogate, Allerton, Headingley, Armley and Whitkirk. The first four deaneries are located in the Archdeaconry of Richmond, and the latter four are in the Archdeaconry of Leeds.

The Diocese covers an area of 1,359 square miles, with a range of urban and rural parishes, these range from urban areas like Holbeck and Armley with New Wortley, urban centres like Ripon and Richmond and rural parishes like Danby Wiske with Hutton Bonneville in the Vale of Mowbray, Eryholme on the southern bank of the River Tees and Upper Nidderdale high in the Yorkshire Dales.


The diocese of Ripon was originally created out of the dioceses of York and Chester in 1836 with Charles Thomas Longley consecrated as its first bishop. It was the first diocese to be created in England after the Reformation, and was erected on 5 October 1836 under the Established Church Act 1836.[1]

On 3 September 1999 the diocese was renamed 'The Diocese of Ripon & Leeds' in order to reflect the demographic importance of Leeds within its boundaries.

Today, the diocesan bishop's residence and offices and the diocesan offices are based in Leeds, while the cathedral remains Ripon Cathedral. The diocese is known as Ripon and Leeds diocese, or, less often, Ripon diocese.


On 2 March 2013, the diocesan synod voted in favour of proposals to abolish the diocese in order to create a larger Leeds diocese;[2] the proposal was approved on 8 July 2013 by the General Synod.[3]The new diocese will be called the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales:Leeds[4]



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