Jump to content

Diocese of Canterbury

Coordinates: 51°16′47″N 1°5′0″E / 51.27972°N 1.08333°E / 51.27972; 1.08333
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Diocese of Canterbury

Dioecesis Cantuariensis
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Canterbury
Coat of arms
Flag of the Diocese of Canterbury
Ecclesiastical provinceCanterbury
ArchdeaconriesCanterbury, Ashford, Maidstone
Coordinates51°16′47″N 1°5′0″E / 51.27972°N 1.08333°E / 51.27972; 1.08333
CathedralCanterbury Cathedral
Current leadership
BishopJustin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
SuffragansRose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover (pseudo-diocesan)
Rob Munro, Bishop of Ebbsfleet (PEV)
Bishop of Richborough (PEV; vacant)
ArchdeaconsWill Adam, Archdeacon of Canterbury
Darren Miller, Archdeacon of Ashford
Andrew Sewell, Archdeacon of Maidstone

The Diocese of Canterbury is a Church of England diocese covering eastern Kent which was founded by St. Augustine of Canterbury in 597. The diocese is centred on Canterbury Cathedral and is the oldest see of the Church of England.

The Report of the Commissioners appointed by his Majesty to inquire into the Ecclesiastical Revenues of England and Wales (1835) noted the net annual revenue for the Canterbury see was £19,182.[1] This made it the wealthiest diocese in England.



The diocesan bishop is the Archbishop of Canterbury, presently Justin Welby. However, because of his roles as metropolitan bishop of the Province of Canterbury, Primate of All England and "first bishop" of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the archbishop (whose primary residence is at Lambeth Palace in London) is often away from the diocese. Therefore, his suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Dover (presently Rose Hudson-Wilkin), is in many ways empowered to act almost as if she were the diocesan bishop.

The diocese had from 1944 to 2009 a second locally focussed suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Maidstone (this version of the post was discontinued in November 2010), who had a similar though subordinate role to that of the Bishop of Dover.[2] Two suffragans have nominal sees in the diocese — the Bishops of Ebbsfleet and Richborough, who are provincial episcopal visitors with a wider focus than the diocese.

Besides the Archbishop and the Bishop of Dover, three honorary assistant bishops supervise and officiate. Alternative episcopal oversight (for parishes in the diocese who reject the ministry of priests who are women) is provided by the provincial episcopal visitor (PEV), the Bishop suffragan of Richborough (vacant). There are three honorary assistant bishops licensed in the diocese:

Diocesan structure


For organisational purposes, the diocese is divided into three archdeaconries,[6] containing a total of sixteen deaneries, which are further subdivided into parishes:[7] Canterbury Diocese comprises 202 parishes organised in 100 legal benefices. [8]

Diocese Archdeaconries Rural deaneries
Diocese of Canterbury Archdeaconry of Canterbury Deanery of Canterbury
Deanery of East Bridge
Deanery of Reculver
Deanery of Thanet
Deanery of West Bridge
Archdeaconry of Ashford Deanery of Ashford
Deanery of Dover
Deanery of Elham
Deanery of Romney
Deanery of Sandwich
Deanery of Vineyard
Archdeaconry of Maidstone Deanery of Maidstone
Deanery of North Downs
Deanery of Ospringe
Deanery of Sittingbourne
Deanery of Weald

See also



  1. ^ The National Enclopaedia of Useful Knowledge, Vol.III, Charles Knight, London, 1847, p.362
  2. ^ Canterbury Diocese — Synod News Archived June 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Turnbull, Michael". Who's Who. Vol. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black. Retrieved 25 April 2014. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ "Llewellin, (John) Richard (Allan)". Who's Who. Vol. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black. Retrieved 25 April 2014. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ "Cray, Graham Alan". Who's Who. Vol. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black. Retrieved 25 April 2014. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. ^ Drew, Anna (11 September 2016). "New Archdeacon of Canterbury appointed". The Diocese of Canterbury. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Deaneries and parishes". The Diocese of Canterbury. Archived from the original on 13 August 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Diocese of Canterbury | Deaneries and Parishes". www.canterburydiocese.org. Retrieved 28 October 2022.