Diocese of Leicester

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Diocese of Leicester
Church of England
Province: Canterbury
Arms of the Bishop of Leicester
Leicester Cathedral exterior.jpg

Leicester Cathedral
Cathedral: Leicester Cathedral
No. of parishes: 234
No. of churches: 324
Website: leicester.anglican.org

The Diocese of Leicester is a Church of England diocese based in Leicester and encompassing the whole of Leicestershire. Its cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of Leicester, is Leicester Cathedral in the middle of that city.

The diocese is divided into two Archdeaconries: the Archdeaconry of Leicester, covering the east of the county, and the Archdeaconry of Loughborough, covering the west.

The Diocese owns a retreat house at Launde Abbey near East Norton.


The Middle Angles first had a bishopric in 680, and the Anglo-Saxon cathedral was probably located close to (if not on the site of) the present cathedral. The original diocese fell victim to the invasion by the Danes around 870 and after the establishment of the Danelaw in 886 the diocese's seat was moved to Oxfordshire and, taking over the existing Diocese of Lindine (created in 678), became the Diocese of Dorchester. From Dorchester on Thames the see was later moved to Lincoln in 1072 under King William the Conqueror, the diocese then becoming the Diocese of Lincoln. Henry VIII divided the larger dioceses at the time of the Reformation and the Diocese of Lincoln was divided in three. Leicestershire was included in the new Diocese of Peterborough.

In the 19th century there were suffragan bishops of Leicester whilst the bishopric was still within the diocese of Peterborough.

The modern diocese was founded on 12 November 1926 from the archdeaconries of Leicester and Loughborough and part of the archdeaconry of Northampton, all from the Diocese of Peterborough.[1] St Martin's Church, Leicester was elevated as the cathedral of the new see.


The first bishops of Leicester were originally prelates who administered an Anglo-Saxon diocese between the 7th and 9th centuries, until the epsiscopal seat was moved to Dorchester on Thames in Oxfordshire.

After a thousand years the title 'Bishop of Leicester' was resurrected as a suffragan see within the Diocese of Peterborough.

Through reorganisation within the Church of England, the Diocese of Leicester was refounded in 1927, and St Martin's Church became Leicester Cathedral.[2][3]

The present bishop's residence is Bishop's Lodge, Springfield Road, Leicester.

Anglo-Saxon Bishops of Leicester

The Anglo-Saxon dioceses before 925
Anglo-Saxon Bishops of Leicester
From Until Incumbent Notes
679 c.691 Cuthwine
692 705 Wilfrid Translated from York; later transferred to Hexham
709 c.716/727 Headda also Bishop of Lichfield
c.716/727 737 Aldwine also Bishop of Lichfield
737 764 Torhthelm
764 c.781/785 Eadbeorht
c.781/785 c.801/803 Unwona
c.801/803 c.814/816 Wernbeorht
c.814/816 839 or 840 Hræthhun
839 or 840 c.840/844 Ealdred
c.840/844 c.869/888 Ceobred
In the late 9th century, the episcopal see of Leicester was moved to Dorchester.

Bishops of Leicester (modern)

Bishops of Leicester
From Until Incumbent Notes
1927 1940 Cyril Bardsley Translated from Peterborough
1940 1953 Guy Smith From Bishop of Willesden
1953 1979 Ronald Williams
1979 1991 Richard Rutt From Bishop of St Germans. Apostated in in 1995.
1991 1999 Tom Butler From Bishop of Willesden; later translated to Southwark
1999 11 July 2015 Tim Stevens From Bishop of Dunwich[7]
2015 (announced) Acting John Holbrook from Bishop of Brixworth

Outside links


  1. London Gazette: no. 33220. p. 7322. 12 November 1926. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Leicester Cathedral: History. Retrieved on 22 November 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Historical successions: Leicester". Crockford's Clerical Directory. http://www.crockford.org.uk/listing.asp?id=689. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  4. Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 238.
  5. The Saxon Bishops of Leicester, Lindsey (Syddensis) , and Dorchester. By D. P. Kirby. Retrieved on 22 November 2008.
  6. "Historical successions: Lincoln (including precussor offices)". Crockford's Clerical Directory. http://www.crockford.org.uk/listing.asp?id=686. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  7. Diocese of Leicester – Bishop Tim announces retirement (Accessed 18 November 2014)
  8. Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 252.

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