Diocese of Rochester

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For the American Episcopal diocese, see Episcopal Diocese of Rochester. For the American Catholic diocese, see Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.
Diocese of Rochester
Diocese of Rochester arms.svg
Ecclesiastical province Canterbury
Archdeaconries Bromley & Bexley, Rochester, Tonbridge
Parishes 218
Churches 268
Cathedral Rochester Cathedral
Current leadership
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;[1] 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.[2]

The Rochester diocese includes 268 churches with parishes in:

The diocese is divided into three archdeaconries:

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.[3] In 1877 Essex and Hertfordshire became the new Diocese of St Albans. Meanwhile, on 1 August 1877,[4] Rochester diocese gained part of the Diocese of Winchester, in northern Surrey, which became an independent Diocese of Southwark in 1905.

The suffragan See of Tonbridge was created in 1959. Since 1994 the Bishop of Fulham (currently The Right Reverend Jonathan Baker, since 2013) has provided 'alternative episcopal oversight' in the diocese (along with London and Southwark) to those parishes which cannot in conscience accept the sacramental ministry of bishops who have participated in the ordination of women.

The Bishop of Rochester is currently the Right Reverend James Langstaff. The suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Tonbridge, is currently the Right Reverend Brian Castle.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bede, Ecclesiastical History, II.3
  2. ^ Bede, Ecclesiastical History, I.29
  3. ^ The Dioceses of England: An Outline History, page 34
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24483. p. 4189. 17 July 1877. Retrieved 4 March 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°23′20″N 0°30′12″E / 51.38889°N 0.50333°E / 51.38889; 0.50333