Diocese of St Albans
|Diocese of St Albans|
Church of England
|Bishop:||Dr Alan Smith|
|signs as:||St Albans|
|Cathedral:||St Albans Cathedral|
| Bishop of Bedford|
Bishop of Hertford
|Archdeaconries:||Bedford, Hertford, St Albans|
|No. of parishes:||336|
The diocese is home to more than 1.6 million people. The communities served by the Church in the Diocese range from small villages and hamlets to major urban centres such as Barnet, Luton, Bedford, Watford and Hemel Hempstead.
The Diocese of St Albans was founded by an Order in Council in April 1877, implementing the Bishopric of St Albans Act 1875. The first Bishop of St Albans was Thomas Legh Claughton, who served from 1877 to 1890.
In 1914, the new Diocese of Chelmsford was formed, removing Essex from the St Albans diocese. A few months later the county Archdeaconry of Bedford was added from the Diocese of Ely, thereby providing the diocese substantially with its current boundaries.
The suffragan Bishopric of Bedford was revived in 1879 and again in 1935, and another, Hertford was created in 1968.
The seat of the Bishop is in the City of St Albans, at St Albans Cathedral.
The cathedral is a grand building dominating this modest town. The building itself dates from 1077 and was an abbey church, part of St Albans Abbey, until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, whereafter it was abandoned until bought by the town in 1553 and then served as a parish church until its elevation to cathedral status in 1877. It was the presence of the cathedral which propelled St Albans itself to be granted city status.
The diocese currently includes:
- the county of Bedford
- the county of Hertford
- the village of Swineshead in the county of Huntingdon (detached)
The Diocese is overseen by the Bishop of St Albans, whose 'cathedra' (or chair) is in St Albans Cathedral. He is supported in his pastoral work in the diocese by two suffragan bishops, the Bishops of Hertford and Bedford, and by three Archdeacons.
The diocese is divided into three Archdeaconries:
- the Archdeaconry of St Albans:
- the Archdeaconry of Bedford:
- the Archdeaconry of Hertford:
The Archdeaconry of Hertford was created in January 1997 from the eastern parts of the Archdeaconry of St Albans, which at the time was one of the largest archdeaconries in England.
The diocesan offices are located in Holywell Hill in St Albans.
Bishop of St Albans
The current Bishop of London is Dr Alan Smith, who was appointed in 2009.
The Bishop's residence is Abbey Gate House, Abbey Mill Lane, St Albans.
List of bishops
|1877-1890||Thomas Claughton||Translated from Rochester|
|1903-1920||Edgar Jacob||Translated from Newcastle|
|1920-1944||Michael Furse||Translated from Pretoria, South Africa|
|1944-1950||Philip Loyd||Translated from Nasik, India|
|1970-1980||Robert Runcie||translated to Canterbury on 25 February 1980|
|2009-present||Alan Smith||Translated from Shrewsbury (Lichfield)|
|Dioceses of the Church of England|
Province of Canterbury: