Diocese of Ripon

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Coordinates: 54°08′06″N 1°31′12″W / 54.135°N 1.520°W / 54.135; -1.520

Diocese of Ripon
Ecclesiastical province York
Archdeaconries Richmond, Leeds
Parishes 161
Churches 269
Established Modern diocese: 5 October 1836 (1836-10-05)–20 April 2014 (2014-04-20)
Cathedral Ripon Cathedral
Current leadership
Bishop Vacant at dissolution.
Last bishop: John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds
Suffragan At dissolution: James Bell, Bishop of Knaresborough, acting Bishop of Ripon and Leeds
Archdeacons At dissolution:
Paul Hooper, Archdeacon of Leeds
Archdeacon of Richmond (Vacant; Acting archdeacon: Paul Slater, Archdeacon of Craven)

The Diocese of Ripon (Diocese of Ripon and Leeds from 1999 until 2014) is a former Church of England diocese, part of the Province of York. Immediately prior to its dissolution, it covered an area in western and northern Yorkshire as well as the south Teesdale area administered by County Durham which is traditionally part of Yorkshire. The cities of Ripon and Leeds were within its boundaries as are the towns of Harrogate, Richmond, Knaresborough, Hawes and Bedale and the surrounding countryside; its northern boundary was the River Tees.

The diocesan Bishop of Ripon had his cathedral church at Ripon. The diocese was also served by a suffragan Bishop of Knaresborough and was divided into two archdeaconries, those of Richmond and Leeds. For organizational purposes, the diocese was further divided into eight deaneries: Richmond, Wensley, Ripon, Harrogate, Allerton, Headingley, Armley and Whitkirk. The first four deaneries are located in the Archdeaconry of Richmond, and the latter four are in the Archdeaconry of Leeds.

The former Diocese covered an area of 1,359 square miles, with a range of urban and rural parishes, these range from urban areas like Holbeck and Armley with New Wortley, urban centres like Ripon and Richmond and rural parishes like Danby Wiske with Hutton Bonneville in the Vale of Mowbray, Eryholme on the southern bank of the River Tees and Upper Nidderdale high in the Yorkshire Dales.


The diocese of Ripon was originally created out of the dioceses of York and Chester in 1836 with Charles Thomas Longley consecrated as its first bishop. It was the first diocese to be created in England after the Reformation, and was erected on 5 October 1836 under the Established Church Act 1836.[1]

On 3 September 1999 the diocese was renamed 'The Diocese of Ripon & Leeds' in order to reflect the demographic importance of Leeds within its boundaries; such importance was further recognised in the eventual creation of the new Diocese of Leeds. The diocesan bishop's residence and offices and the diocesan offices were based in Leeds, while the cathedral remained Ripon Cathedral. After 1999, the diocese was known as Ripon and Leeds diocese, or, less often, Ripon diocese.


On 2 March 2013, the diocesan synod voted in favour of proposals to abolish the diocese in order to create a larger Leeds diocese;[2] the proposal was approved on 8 July 2013 by the General Synod[3] and Ripon diocese was duly dissolved upon the creation of Leeds diocese on 20 April 2014.[4]



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