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Diocese of Rochester

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Diocese of Rochester

Dioecesis Roffensis
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Rochester
Coat of arms
Ecclesiastical provinceCanterbury
ArchdeaconriesBromley & Bexley, Rochester, Tonbridge
CathedralRochester Cathedral
St Saviour's Pro-Cathedral, Southwark (1897–1905)[1]
Current leadership
BishopBishop of Rochester (vacant)
acting: the Bishop of Tonbridge
bishop-designate: Jonathan Gibbs
SuffraganSimon Burton-Jones, Bishop of Tonbridge
ArchdeaconsAndy Wooding Jones, Archdeacon of Rochester
Sharon Copestake, Archdeacon of Tonbridge
Archdeacon of Bromley & Bexley (vacant)

The Diocese of Rochester is a Church of England diocese in the English county of Kent and the Province of Canterbury. The cathedral church of the diocese is Rochester Cathedral in the former city of Rochester. The bishop's Latin episcopal signature is: " (firstname) Roffen",[2] Roffensis being the genitive case of the Latin name of the see.

An ancient diocese, it was established with the authority of King Æthelberht of Kent by Augustine of Canterbury in 604 at the same time as the see of London.[3] Only the adjacent Diocese of Canterbury is older in England. Its establishment was the first part of an unrealised plan conceived by Pope Gregory the Great for Augustine of Canterbury to consecrate 12 bishops in different places and another 12 for the prospective see (later province) of York.[4]

The Rochester diocese includes 268 parish churches throughout:

The diocese is subdivided into three archdeaconries:

The current diocesan boundaries roughly match its pre-19th century extent. On 1 January 1846 parishes in Hertfordshire from the dioceses of Lincoln and of London and Essex (from London diocese) were added to Rochester, while all West Kent parishes except those in the Rochester Deanery were transferred to the Diocese of Canterbury.[5] In May 1877, Essex and Hertfordshire became part of the newly created Diocese of St Albans. On 1 August 1877,[6] the Diocese of Rochester gained some northern parts of Surrey from the Diocese of Winchester which were later transferred to the Diocese of Southwark at its creation in 1905.


There is currently no diocesan bishop, the Bishop of Rochester; the See is vacant awaiting the confirmation of Jonathan Gibbs in "summer 2022".[7] The diocese also has a suffragan bishop: Simon Burton-Jones, Bishop of Tonbridge (who is also the acting diocesan bishop during the vacancy); the suffragan see of Tonbridge was created in 1959. Since 1994 the Bishop of Fulham (Jonathan Baker from 2013) has provided "alternative episcopal oversight" in the diocese (as well as in the London and Southwark dioceses) to parishes which do not accept the ordination of women to the priesthood. Baker is licensed as an honorary assistant bishop in the diocese for this ministry.

In addition to the diocesan and suffragan bishops, there are a number of other bishops licensed in the diocese:

See also


  1. ^ "The Dioceses of England: An Outline History", p. 47.
  2. ^ Debretts Peerage, 1968, p. 945.
  3. ^ Bede, Ecclesiastical History, II.3
  4. ^ Bede, Ecclesiastical History, I.29
  5. ^ "The Dioceses of England...", p. 34.
  6. ^ "No. 24483". The London Gazette. 17 July 1877. p. 4189.
  7. ^ "New Bishop of Rochester announced". Diocese of Rochester. 31 March 2022. Archived from the original on 1 April 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  8. ^ "Venner, Stephen Squires". Who's Who. Vol. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 18 August 2014. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  9. ^ "Turnbull, Michael". Who's Who. Vol. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 25 April 2014. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  10. ^ "Cray, Graham Alan". Who's Who. Vol. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 25 April 2014. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)


External links

This page was last edited on 16 April 2022, at 17:53
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