Bishop of St Albans

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Bishop of St Albans
Alan Smith
Ecclesiastical provinceCanterbury
ResidenceAbbey Gate House, St Albans
DioceseSt Albans
CathedralSt Albans Cathedral

The Bishop of St Albans is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of St Albans in the Province of Canterbury. The bishop is supported in his work by two suffragan bishops, the Bishop of Hertford and the Bishop of Bedford, and three archdeacons.

The diocese covers the counties of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire and parts of the London Borough of Barnet. The see is in the City of St Albans in Hertfordshire, where the cathedra (bishop's seat) is located at St Albans Cathedral. The cathedral building itself was an abbey church (part of St Albans Abbey) prior to the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Following its purchase by the town in 1553, it was then a parish church until its elevation to cathedral status in 1877 when the diocese was created from the diocese of Rochester under Queen Victoria by the Bishopric of St. Albans Act 1875.


The current incumbent is Alan Smith, 10th Bishop of St Albans, who signs + Alan St Albans. His nomination was announced by Downing Street on 13 January 2009[1] following the retirement of Christopher Herbert.[2]

The election of the bishop by the College of Canons of the Cathedral took place on 13 February and the Confirmation of Election with the Archbishop of Canterbury followed on 31 March. Smith was inaugurated on 19 September 2009.[3]

The Bishop's residence is the Abbey Gate House, St Albans.

List of bishops[edit]

Bishops of St Albans
From Until Incumbent Notes
1877 1890 Bp Thomas Legh Claughton.jpg Thomas Legh Claughton Translated from Rochester; nominated on 30 May and invested on 12 July 1877; resigned on 21 March 1890 and died on 25 July 1892
1890 1902 J W Festing, Bp of St Albans.jpg John Festing Nominated on 10 June and consecrated on 24 June 1890; died in office on 28 December 1902
1903 1920 Edgar Jacob 001.jpg Edgar Jacob Translated from Newcastle; nominated on 11 May 1903; resigned in December 1919 and died on 25 March 1920
1920 1944 Michael Bolton Furse.jpg Michael Furse Translated from Pretoria, South Africa; nominated on 28 January and invested on 19 April 1920; resigned on 1 September 1944 and died on 18 June 1955
1944 1950 No image.svg Philip Loyd Translated from Nasik, India; nominated on 13 October and confirmed on 14 December 1944; resigned on 1 May 1950 and died on 11 January 1952
1950 1969 No image.svg Michael Gresford Jones Translated from Willesden; nominated on 23 January and confirmed on 25 July 1950; resigned on 16 December 1969 and died on 7 March 1982
1970 1980 Runciethumb.jpg Robert Runcie Nominated on 10 January and consecrated on 24 February 1970; translated to Canterbury on 25 February 1980 and died on 11 July 2000
1980 1995 No image.svg John Taylor Nominated on 5 March and consecrated on 1 May 1980; also Lord High Almoner (1988–1997); retired in 1995 and died on 1 June 2016
1995 2009 No image.svg Christopher Herbert Nominated and consecrated in 1995; retired on 7 January 2009.[2]
2009 incumbent Bishop Alan Smith 2011.jpg Alan Smith Translated from Shrewsbury; nominated on 13 January, elected on 13 February and inaugurated on 19 September 2009.[1][3]

Assistant bishops[edit]

Among those who have served as assistant bishops in the diocese are:


  1. ^ a b Prime Minister's Office - St Albans Diocese Archived January 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Watford Observer - Bishop of St Albans to retire
  3. ^ a b Diocese of St Albans – New Bishop a step closer (Archived 9 June 2009) (Accessed 11 April 2014)
  4. ^ "Historical successions: St Albans". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  5. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 269.
  6. ^ "Boys, John". Who's Who. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required)


  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, reprinted 2003 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  • Whitaker's Almanack 1883 to 2004, Joseph Whitaker and Sons Ltd/A&C Black, London.