Diocese of Canterbury

Diocese of Canterbury

Dioecesis Cantuariensis
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Canterbury
Coat of arms
Flag of the Diocese of Canterbury
Ecclesiastical provinceCanterbury
ArchdeaconriesCanterbury, Ashford, Maidstone
Coordinates51°16′47″N 1°5′0″E / 51°16′47″N 1°5′0″E / 51.27972; 1.08333
CathedralCanterbury Cathedral
Current leadership
BishopJustin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
SuffragansRose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop-designate of Dover
Norman Banks, Bishop of Richborough (AEO)
Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet (AEO)[1]
Rod Thomas, Bishop of Maidstone (AEO)[2]
ArchdeaconsJo Kelly-Moore, Archdeacon of Canterbury
Stephen Taylor, Archdeacon of Maidstone
Darren Miller, www.canterburydiocese.org

The Diocese of Canterbury is a Church of England diocese covering eastern Kent which was founded by St. Augustine of Canterbury in 597. The diocese is centred on Canterbury Cathedral and is the oldest see of the Church of England.

The Report of the Commissioners appointed by his Majesty to inquire into the Ecclesiatical Revenues of England and Wales (1835) noted the net annual revenue for the Canterbury see was £19,182.[3] This made it the wealthiest diocese in England.


The diocesan bishop is the Archbishop of Canterbury, presently Justin Welby. However, because of his roles as metropolitan bishop of the Province of Canterbury, Primate of All England and "first bishop" of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the archbishop (whose primary residence is at Lambeth Palace in London) is often away from the diocese. Therefore, his suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Dover (presently vacant; bishop-designate: Rose Hudson-Wilkin), is in many ways empowered to act almost as if she were the diocesan bishop.

The province had from 1944–2009 a second locally focussed suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Maidstone, discontinued November 2010.[4] Three suffragans have nominal sees in the diocese — the Bishops of Ebbsfleet, Richborough and (since 2014) Maidstone who are provincial episcopal visitors with a wider focus than the diocese.

Besides the Archbishop and the Bishop of Dover, three honorary assistant bishops supervise and officiate. Alternative episcopal oversight (for parishes in the diocese who reject the ministry of priests who are women) is provided by the provincial episcopal visitor (PEV), the Bishop suffragan of Richborough, Norman Banks. There are three honorary assistant bishops licensed in the diocese: