Diocese of St Albans
|Diocese of Saint Albans|
|Archdeaconries||Bedford, Hertford, St Albans|
|Cathedral||St Albans Cathedral|
|Bishop||Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans|
|Suffragans||Paul Bayes, Bishop of Hertford
Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford
|Archdeacons||Trevor Jones, Archdeacon of Hertford
Paul Hughes, Archdeacon of Bedford
Jonathan Smith, Archdeacon of St Albans
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, implementing the Bishopric of St Albans Act 1875.
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.
Current geographical limits and structure
The diocese currently includes:
- the county of Bedfordshire, including Luton
- the county of Hertfordshire
- parts of the London Borough of Barnet
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:
- Archdeaconry of St Albans
- Archdeaconry of Bedford
- Archdeaconry of Hertford
The diocesan offices are located in Holywell Hill in St Albans.
Archdeacon of Hertford
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. There has been only one Archdeacon of Hertford since the archdeaconry's institution: the incumbent, The Venerable Trevor Jones.