Diocese of Lichfield

Diocese of Lichfield
Diocese of Lichfield
Ecclesiastical province Canterbury
Archdeaconries Lichfield, Stoke-on-Trent, Salop, Walsall
Parishes 429
Churches 582
Cathedral Lichfield Cathedral
Current leadership
Bishop Jonathan Gledhill, Bishop of Lichfield
Suffragans Clive Gregory, Bishop of Wolverhampton
Mark Rylands, Bishop of Shrewsbury
Geoff Annas, Bishop of Stafford
Archdeacons Chris Liley, Archdeacon of Lichfield
Godfrey Stone, Archdeacon of Stoke
Chris Sims, Archdeacon of Walsall
Paul Thomas, Archdeacon of Salop

The Diocese of Lichfield is a Church of England diocese in the Province of Canterbury, England. The bishop's seat is located in the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Chad in the city of Lichfield. The diocese covers 4,516 km² (1,744 sq. mi.) of the counties of Staffordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.


The Diocese of Mercia was created by Bishop Diuma in around 656 and the see was settled in Lichfield in 669 by the then bishop, Ceadda (later Saint Chadd), who built a monastery there.[1] At the Council of Chelsea, Bishop Higbert was raised to the rank of archbishop and given authority over the dioceses of Worcester, Leicester, Lincoln, Hereford, Elmham and Dunwich. This was due to the persuasion of King Offa of Mercia, who wanted an archbishop to rival Canterbury. On Offa's death in 796, however, the Pope removed the archiepiscopal rank and restored the dioceses to the authority of Canterbury. In 803 the Council of Clovesho accepted this decision.

During the 9th century, the diocese was devastated by the Vikings. Lichfield itself was unwalled and had become rather poor, so Bishop Peter moved the see to the fortified and wealthier Chester in 1075. His successor, Robert de Limesey, transferred it to Coventry and the diocese was renamed the Diocese of Coventry and Lichfield. At this stage it also covered Derbyshire and most of Warwickshire.

In 1539 the see was transferred back to Lichfield and the name was reversed to become the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry. In 1837 Coventry was transferred to the Diocese of Worcester.

The present bishop of Lichfield, the 98th, is Jonathan Gledhill.[2] He is assisted by the area bishops of Shrewsbury (responsible for the Salop archdeaconry), Stafford (responsible for the Stoke archdeaconry), and Wolverhampton (responsible for the Lichfield and Walsall archdeaconries).

See also


  1. ^  "Lichfield". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  2. ^ Who's Who - ecclesiastical structure, Diocese of Lichfield website

Coordinates: 52°41′08″N 1°49′50″W / 52.6855°N 1.8305°W / 52.6855; -1.8305

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