Diocese of Chichester

Diocese of Chichester

Coordinates: 50°50′13″N 0°46′48″W / 50.837°N 0.780°W / 50.837; -0.780

Diocese of Chichester
Ecclesiastical province Canterbury
Archdeaconries Chichester, Horsham, Lewes & Hastings
Parishes 389
Churches 515
Cathedral Chichester Cathedral
Current leadership
Bishop John Hind, Bishop of Chichester
Suffragans Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes
Mark Sowerby, Bishop of Horsham
Archdeacons Douglas McKittrick, Archdeacon of Chichester
Roger Combes, Archdeacon of Horsham
Philip Jones, Archdeacon of Lewes & Hastings

The Diocese of Chichester is a Church of England diocese based in Chichester, covering Sussex. It was created in 1075 to replace the old Diocese of Selsey, which was based at Selsey Abbey from 681. The cathedral is Chichester Cathedral and the bishop is the Bishop of Chichester. It is part of the Province of Canterbury.


Diocesan structure

The Bishop of Chichester has overall episcopal oversight of the diocese, but is primarily in charge of the Chichester Episcopal Area which covers Chichester and its environs and also the City of Brighton and Hove.[1][2]

The Bishop of Chichester is assisted by the Area Bishops of Horsham and Lewes who between them oversee the diocese.[3] The Horsham Episcopal Area covers most of West Sussex (apart from Chichester and some parishes to the west of Hove) and some parishes in East Sussex to the north of Brighton and east of East Grinstead, together with one parish in Kent.[1] The Lewes Episcopal Area covers most of East Sussex (apart from some parishes to the north of Brighton, and east of East Grinstead) and a few small areas of Kent.[1]

The three archdeaconries of the diocese are Chichester, Horsham, and Lewes & Hastings.[4] The Archdeaconry of Chichester covers the coastal region of West Sussex, along with Brighton and Hove.[4] The Archdeaconry of Horsham covers the remainder of West Sussex (Horsham Episcopal Area, except the coastal region).[4] The Archdeaconry of Lewes & Hastings covers East Sussex (Lewes Episcopal Area).[4]

The 21 deaneries of the diocese are[2]:

  • Arundel and Bognor
  • Battle and Bexhill
  • Brighton
  • Chichester
  • Cuckfield
  • Dallington
  • Eastbourne
  • East Grinstead
  • Hastings
  • Horsham
  • Hove
  • Hurst
  • Lewes and Seaford
  • Midhurst
  • Petworth
  • Rotherfield
  • Rye
  • Storrington
  • Uckfield
  • Westbourne
  • Worthing


Christianity was introduced to the British Isles during the Roman occupation. When the Romans departed, there were waves of heathen invasions from northern Europe; these were mainly Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Celtic Christianity was driven, with the Celts, into the remote western parts of the islands. The south of England was settled by Saxons. After the invasions had finished, Roman Missionaries evangelized the south east of England and Celtic Missionaries the rest of the British Isles.[5]

Sussex remained steadfastly heathen until the arrival of Saint Wilfrid in 681 AD.[5] Wilfrid built his cathedral church in Selsey, and dedicated it to Saint Peter. The original structure would have been made largely of wood. The stones from the old cathedral would have been used in the later church.[5] Some stonework discovered in a local garden wall was believed to have come from the palm cross that stood outside the original cathedral, and is now integrated into the war memorial that is in the perimeter wall outside the church.[5]

The cathedral founded at Selsey was probably built, where the chancel of the old church still remains, at Church Norton .[6] Selsey Abbey was the first seat of the South Saxon See. The seat was moved to Chichester in 1075 under William the Conqueror.[5]



External links

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