Diocese of Canterbury

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Diocese of Canterbury
Church of England
Province: Canterbury
counties: Kent
Arms of the Bishop of Canterbury
Canterbury Cathedral - Portal Nave Cross-spire.jpeg

Canterbury Cathedral
Bishop: Dr Rowan Williams
signs as: Cantuar
Cathedral: Canterbury Cathedral
Bishop of Dover, Bishop of Ebbsfleet[1]
Bishop of Richborough[1]
Archdeaconries: Canterbury, Ashford, Maidstone
No. of parishes: 261
No. of churches: 335
Website: canterbury.anglican.org

The Diocese of Canterbury in the Church of England covers Kent east of the River Medway. It was founded in 597 by St Augustine of Canterbury, the "Apostle to the English", who led the Church's effort to convert the English peoples from heathenism to Christianity, and it is thus the oldest see of the Church of England. Augustine was the first Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the bishop of this Diocese, remains the "Primate of All England" today, considered "first amongst equals" amongst the bishops of the Church.

The Diocese of Canterbury is part of the Province of Canterbury.

The episcopal seat of the Diocese is Canterbury Cathedral, in the city of Canterbury and around which the city has been built.

Because the diocesan bishop, as Archbishop of Canterbury, holds many responsibilities beyond the diocese (as Metropolitan of the Province of Canterbury, Primate of All England, and worldwide head of the Anglican Communion), many of his responsibilities in the Diocese of Canterbury are devolved upon one of his suffragan bishops, the Bishop of Dover, who is given the additional title of "Bishop in Canterbury" and in many ways empowered to act almost as if he were the diocesan bishop. (The Archbishop's residence is not even in Kent, but at Lambeth Palace, in Lambeth in Surrey.)

Suffragan bishops

The Bishop of Dover is the one active suffragan bishop in the diocese, exercising many of the Archbishop's functions in the Diocese. There was, until 2009, another suffragan bishop for the diocese, the Bishop of Maidstone, but it was decided in November 2010 that no further appointments would be made to that post.[2]

Two further suffragan bishops in Canterbury; the Bishop of Ebbsfleet and the Bishop of Richborough, but their roles are not in the diocese but as provincial episcopal visitors to the whole Province of Canterbury, ministering to parishes which do not accept the ministry of women as priests.

For organisational purposes, the diocese is divided into three archdeaconries, containing a total of fifteen deaneries:


List of bishops

The bishop of the diocese of Canterbury has been, ever since its foundation by Augustine, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

For the list of Archbishops of Canterbury, see under Province of Canterbury.

Outside links


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Bishops of Ebbsfleet and of Richborough are the Provincial Episcopal Visitors
  2. Canterbury Diocese — Synod News

Dioceses of the Church of England

Province of Canterbury:
Bath & Wells •
Birmingham • Bristol • Canterbury • Chelmsford • Chichester • Coventry • Derby • Ely • Exeter • Gibraltar in Europe • Gloucester • Guildford • Hereford • Leicester • Lichfield • Lincoln • London • Norwich • Oxford • Peterborough • Portsmouth • Rochester • Saint Albans • Saint Edmundsbury & Ipswich • Salisbury • Southwark • Truro • Winchester • Worcester
Province of York:
Blackburn •
Carlisle • Chester • Durham • Leeds • Liverpool • Manchester • Newcastle • Sheffield • Sodor & Man • Southwell & Nottingham • York