Diocese of Rochester
|Diocese of Rochester|
|Archdeaconries||Bromley & Bexley, Rochester, Tonbridge|
|Bishop||James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester|
|Suffragan||Brian Castle, Bishop of Tonbridge|
|Archdeacons||Paul Wright, Archdeacon of Bromley & Bexley
Clive Mansell, Archdeacon of Tonbridge
Simon Burton-Jones, Archdeacon of Rochester
The Diocese of Rochester is a Church of England diocese in South-East England and forms part of the Province of Canterbury. It is an ancient diocese, having been established by St. Augustine of Canterbury in 604 with the help of King Æthelberht of Kent at the same time as the see of London; only the neighbouring Diocese of Canterbury is older in the Church of England. This was the first part to be carried out of Pope Gregory the Great's plan (never realised) that Augustine should consecrate twelve bishops in different places, and then twelve more under the projected see of York.
The Rochester diocese includes 268 churches with parishes in:
The diocese is divided into three archdeaconries:
- Archdeaconry of Bromley & Bexley (Archdeacon: The Venerable Paul Wright)
- Archdeaconry of Rochester (Archdeacon: The Venerable Simon Burton-Jones)
- Archdeaconry of Tonbridge (Archdeacon: The Venerable Clive Mansell)
The current diocesan boundaries roughly match its pre-19th century extent. On 1 January 1846 the Hertfordshire territories from the diocese of Lincoln and of London and Essex (from the London diocese) were added to Rochester, while all west Kent except Rochester deanery was given to Canterbury diocese. In May 1877 Essex and Hertfordshire became the new Diocese of St Albans. Meanwhile, on 1 August 1877, Rochester diocese gained part of the Diocese of Winchester, in northern Surrey, which became an independent Diocese of Southwark in 1905.
The Bishop of Rochester is currently the Right Reverend James Langstaff. The suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Tonbridge, is currently Brian Castle. The suffragan See of Tonbridge was created in 1959. Since 1994 the Bishop of Fulham (currently Jonathan Baker, since 2013) has provided 'alternative episcopal oversight' in the diocese (along with those of London and Southwark) to those parishes which reject the ministry of priests who are women. Baker is licensed as an honorary assistant bishop in Rochester diocese in order to facilitate his work there.
Besides the Bishops of Rochester, of Tonbridge and of Fulham, several other men are licensed as bishops in the diocese. There are four other honorary assistant bishops licensed in the diocese:
- 2000–present: Michael Gear, retired former Bishop suffragan of Doncaster, lives in Yalding and is also licensed in Canterbury diocese.
- 2010–present: Stephen Venner, retired Bishop of Dover, former Bishop for the Falkland Islands and Bishop to the Forces, lives in St Albans, Hertfordshire, where he is licensed as an honorary assistant bishop. Venner is also licensed in the Diocese in Europe.
- 2010–present: A retired former Bishop of Durham and Bishop of Rochester, Michael Turnbull, lives in Sandwich (in the neighbouring Diocese of Canterbury, where he is also licensed.)
- 2011–present: Graham Cray, retired Archbishops' Missioner and fresh expressions Team Leader and former Bishop suffragan of Maidstone lives in Harrietsham (in Canterbury diocese, where he is also licensed.)
- Bede, Ecclesiastical History, II.3
- Bede, Ecclesiastical History, I.29
- The Dioceses of England: An Outline History, page 34
- The London Gazette: . 17 July 1877. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "Gear, Rt Rev. Michael Frederick". Who's Who 2014. Who's Who (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Venner, Rt Rev. Stephen Squires". Who's Who 2014. Who's Who (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- "Turnbull, Rt Rev. Michael". Who's Who 2014. Who's Who (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Cray, Rt Rev. Graham Alan". Who's Who 2014. Who's Who (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- Diocese of Rochester official website
- Church In Society, a community charity associated with the Dioceses of Canterbury and Rochester
- Parish churches in the Diocese of Rochester
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