Diocese of Peterborough

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Diocese of Peterborough
Church of England
Province: Canterbury
Arms of the Bishop of Peterborough
Peterborough Cathedral Exterior 2, Cambridgeshire, UK - Diliff.jpg

Peterborough Cathedral
Bishop: Donald Allister
Cathedral: Peterborough Cathedral
Archdeaconries: Northampton, Oakham
No. of parishes: 352
No. of churches: 386
Website: peterborough-diocese.org.uk

The Diocese of Peterborough is a diocese of the Church of England which covers Northamptonshire and Rutland, and forms part of the Province of Canterbury.

The seat of the Bishop of Peterborough is the Peterborough Cathedral ('the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew, Peterborough'), an ancient church of Barnack stone now surrounded by the modernity of Peterborough New Town. The cathedral was originally the abbey church of a monastery founded in AD 655 of which the church was built in its present form between 1118 and 1238.


The cathedral may be ancient, but the diocese is a child of the Henrician Reformation. It was founded at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1541, carved out of the vast Diocese of Lincoln.

Peterborough was of six wholly new bishoprics founded under King Henry VIII; on 4 September 1541, the King issued letters patent converting the abbey church of Peterborough Abbey into a cathedral church for the new diocese, with a dean and chapter and ecclesiastical staff. The last abbot, John Chambers, was consecrated in his former abbey church on 23 October 1541 as the first Bishop of Peterborough.

Until 1927 the Peterborough diocese also covered Leicestershire, but in that year the Diocese of Leicester was founded,[1] and the then Bishop of Peterborough, Cyril Bardsley, moved to become the first diocesan Bishop of Leicester since the Middle Ages.

A link with the Anglican Church of Kenya Diocese of Bungoma was formed by the two bishops following the Lambeth Conference in 1998.


The Diocese is divided into two Archdeaconries:

  • The Archdeaconry of Northampton, and
  • The Archdeaconry of Oakham.

The Bishop of Peterborough is also commissioned as an Assistant Bishop in the neighbouring Diocese of Ely and in that capacity he provides pastoral care to the parishes in the Peterborough urban area that lie south of the River Nene in Huntingdonshire; these parishes include Stanground, Orton, Woodston, Yaxley and Fletton.[2][3][4]


The Diocese is presided over by the Bishop of Peterborough, an office founded in 1557. He is assisted by a suffragan, the Bishop of Brixworth: the suffragan see of Brixworth was created by Order in Council on 26 July 1988.[5]

Bishops of Peterborough
From Until Incumbent Notes
1541 1556 John Chambers Last Abbot of Peterborough Abbey. Died in office
1557 1559 David Pole Deposed
1560 1585 Edmund Scambler Translated to Norwich
1585 1600 Richard Howland Died in office
1601 1630 Thomas Dove Died in office
1530 1632 William Piers Translated to Bath & Wells
1533 1634 Augustine Lindsell Translated to Hereford
1634 1638 Francis Dee Died in office
1639 1646 John Towers Deprived of office
1646 1660 None (Commonwealth period)
1660 1663 Benjamin Lany Translated to Lincoln
1663 1679 Joseph Henshaw Died in office
1679 1695 William Lloyd Translated from Llandaff; Translated to Norwich
1685 1690 Thomas White Deprived of office
1691 1718 Richard Cumberland Died in office
1718 1728 White Kennett Died in office
1729 1747 Robert Clavering Translated from Llandaff; died in office
1747 1757 John Thomas Translated to Salisbury
1757 1764 Richard Terrick Translated to London
1764 1769 Robert Lamb Died in office
1769 1794 John Hinchliffe Died in office
1794 1813 Spencer Madan Translated from Bristol; died in office
1813 1819 John Parsons Died in office
1819 1839 Herbert Marsh Translated from Llandaff; died in office
1839 1864 George Davys Died in office
1864 1868 Francis Jeune Died in office
1868 1891 William Magee Translated to York
1891 1897 Mandell Creighton Translated to London
1897 1916 Edward Glyn
1916 1923 Frank Woods Translated to Winchester
1924 1927 Cyril Bardsley Translated to Leicester
1927 1949 Claude Blagden
1949 1956 Spencer Leeson Died in office
1956 1961 Robert Stopford Previously Bishop of Fulham; Translated to London
1961 1972 Cyril Easthaugh Previously Bishop of Kensington
1972 1984 Douglas Feaver
1984 1995 Bill Westwood Previously Suffragan Bishop of Edmonton
1996 2009 Ian Cundy Died in office
2010 incumbent Donald Allister Previously Archdeacon of Chester

Outside links


  1. London Gazette: no. 33220. pp. 7321–7322. 12 November 1926. Retrieved 2007-09-24.
  2. "Bridging the divide in a city". Diocesan website - press releases (Diocese of Ely (archived)). 29 July 2004. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007. https://web.archive.org/web/20071014213050/http://ely.anglican.org/news_events/media/press/details.html?id=26. Retrieved 22 May 2016. 
  3. "Bishops bridge boundaries aboard boat" Peterborough Telegraph 2 August 2004
  4. "Bishop Donald becomes Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Ely" on the Peterborough Diocese website
  5. London Gazette: no. 51444. p. 9349. 18 August 1988. Retrieved 7 May 2014.

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