Diocese of London

The Diocese of London forms part of the Church of England’s Province of Canterbury in England.

Historically the diocese covered a large area north of the Thames and bordered the dioceses of Norwich and Lincoln to the north and west. The present diocese covers 177 square miles (460 km2) and 17 London boroughs, covering most of Greater London north of the River Thames and west of the River Lea. This area covers nearly all of the historic county of Middlesex. It includes the City of London in which lies its cathedral, St Paul’s, and also encompasses Spelthorne which was formerly in Middlesex but is now part of Surrey.

Essex formed part of the diocese until 1846 when the county became part of the Diocese of Rochester (and later changed again to the Diocese of St Albans and is now in the Diocese of Chelmsford).

Since the institution of the London area scheme (the first of its kind) in 1979, the diocese has been divided into five episcopal areas, each of which is the particular responsibility of one of the diocese’s suffragan bishops. It is further divided into archdeaconries and deaneries, as shown below.

(Bishop of London)

(area Bishop of Edmonton)

(area Bishop of Kensington)

(area Bishop of Stepney)

(area Bishop of Willesden)

Under the London area scheme the diocesan bishop, the Bishop of London (Richard Chartres), retains oversight of the two cities of London and Westminster while the four area bishops have responsibility in their own episcopal areas. The suffragan see of Stepney was created in 1895, Kensington in 1901, Willesden in 1911 and Edmonton in 1970. The suffragan see of Marlborough existed from 1888 to 1918. On 1 May 2015, it was announced that Chartres‘ proposal to take the See of Islington out of abeyance for the appointment of a „bishop for church plants“ would go ahead. Ric Thorpe was consecrated Bishop suffragan of Islington on 29 September 2015.

Alternative episcopal oversight (for parishes in the diocese which do not accept the ordination of women as priests) is provided by a fifth suffragan bishop, Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham, who has the same ministry in the Southwark and Rochester dioceses. During a lengthy vacancy in that see, alternative episcopal oversight was offered by the area Bishop of Edmonton.

There are also several retired bishops living in the diocese, some of whom are licensed as honorary assistant bishops: