Diocese of Chelmsford

From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
Diocese of Chelmsford
Church of England
Province: Canterbury
Arms of the Bishop of Chelmsford

Chelmsford Cathedral
Bishop: Stephen Cottrell
Cathedral: Chelmsford Cathedral
Bishop of Colchester
Bishop of Barking
Bishop of Bradwell
Archdeaconries: Barking, Chelmsford
Colchester, Harlow
Southend, Stansted
West Ham
No. of parishes: 482
No. of churches: 613
Website: chelmsford.anglican.org

The Diocese of Chelmsford is a Church of England diocese, part of the Province of Canterbury. The diocese covers Essex, a county with a population of nearly three million souls.

The diocese is divided into three episcopal areas, each with its own suffragan bishop.

The Diocese was created on 23 January 1914,[1] covering the entire county of Essex, which had previously been part of the Diocese of St Albans.[2]


The Bishop of Chelmsford has his seat at Chelmsford Cathedral; the Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin, St Peter and St Cedd at Chelmsford.

The Cathedral, though an impressive building, was built as a parish church and was known as St Mary The Virgin. It only became a cathedral when the Diocese was created in 1914. The church on this site was probably built along with the town eight hundred years ago, and was rebuilt in the 15th and early 16th centuries, with walls of flint rubble, stone and brick.

The Cathedral

There is also a tower with a spire and a ring of thirteen bells, twelve of which were cast by John Warner & Sons at Cripplegate. The nave partially collapsed in 1800, and was rebuilt by the County architect John Johnson, retaining the Perpendicular design, but using Coade stone piers and tracery, and a plaster ceiling. The upper part of the chancel was rebuilt in 1878.

The south porch of the Cathedral was extended in 1953 to mark Anglo-American friendship after the Second World War and the many US airmen stationed in Essex during the war.

Until 1954, the cathedral was the Cathdral Church of St Mary The Virgin, but in that year received an additional dedicatation to Saints Peter and Cedd.

The cathedral celebrates its links with Thomas Hooker, who was Chelmsford Town Lecturer between 1626 and 1629. He fled to the New World because of his Puritan views and founded the town of Hartford, Connecticut and was one of the founders of American democracy.

The cathedral enjoys close links with The Cathedral School, St Cedd's School, King Edward VI Grammar School and Chelmsford County High School for Girls. Many of the cathedral's boy and girl choristers attend these schools.

Diocesan structure

The diocese of Chelmsford is overseen by the Bishop of Chelmsford. It divided into three episcopal areas which are overseen by an Area Bishop. The diocese is divided further into archdeaconries, each divided into a number of deaneries.

As part of Bishop Stephen Cottrell's vision for the diocese's long-term future, consultations occurred on proposals to create three new archdeaconries.[3] On 1 February 2013, by Pastoral Order of the Bishop of Chelmsford, the three archdeaconries were created: the new Archdeaconry of Stansted from Colchester archdeaconry, a new Archdeaconry of Barking from West Ham archdeaconry and a new Archdeaconry of Southend created after the Southend archdeaconry was renamed the Archdeaconry of Chelmsford.[4]

Episcopal areas Archdeaconries Deaneries
Barking Episcopal Area
(overseen by the area Bishop of Barking)
Archdeaconry of Harlow Deanery of Epping Forest
Deanery of Harlow
Deanery of Ongar
Archdeaconry of West Ham Deanery of Newham
Deanery of Redbridge
Deanery of Waltham Forest
Archdeaconry of Barking Deanery of Barking and Dagenham
Deanery of Havering
Bradwell Episcopal Area
(overseen by the area Bishop of Bradwell)
Archdeaconry of Chelmsford Deanery of Brentwood
Deanery of Chelmsford North
Deanery of Chelmsford South
Deanery of Maldon and Dengie
Archdeaconry of Southend Deanery of Basildon
Deanery of Hadleigh
Deanery of Rochford
Deanery of Southend on Sea
Deanery of Thurrock
Colchester Episcopal Area
(overseen by the area Bishop of Colchester)
Archdeaconry of Colchester Deanery of Colchester
Deanery of Dedham and Tey
Deanery of Harwich
Deanery of St Osyth
Deanery of Witham
Archdeaconry of Stansted Deanery of Braintree
Deanery of Dunmow and Stansted
Deanery of Hinckford
Deanery of Saffron Walden

Outside links


  1. London Gazette: no. 28795, p. 588, 23 January 1914. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  2. London Gazette. 23 January 1914.
  3. Stephen Cottrell – Proposals to create new Archdeaconries in the Diocese of Chelmsford (accessed 28 December 2012)
  4. Diocese of Chelmsford – Archdeaconries in the Diocese of Chelmsford (Accessed 6 February 2013)

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