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The Bishop of Southwark /ˈsʌðərk/[1] is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Southwark in the Province of Canterbury.[2][3]

Bishop of Southwark
Christopher Chessun
Ecclesiastical provinceCanterbury
ResidenceBishop's House, Streatham
CathedralSt Saviour and St Mary Overie, Southwark

Until 1877, Southwark had been part of the Diocese of Winchester when it was transferred to the Diocese of Rochester. In 1891, the Bishop of Rochester appointed Huyshe Yeatman-Biggs the only suffragan bishop of Southwark and an ancient parish church in Southwark was restored to become a pro-cathedral in 1897, which later became Southwark Cathedral.[2] The bishop's residence is Bishop's House, Streatham.[4]

On 1 May 1905,[5] the Diocese of Southwark was created and covers Greater London south of the River Thames and east Surrey, broadly defined.[2] The Bishop of Southwark is assisted by the suffragan bishops of Croydon, of Kingston and of Woolwich who each oversee an episcopal area of the diocese.[6]

The current and previous bishops have been cited in canonical practice in its interpretation as "valid but irregular" of three ordinations of candidates ordained abroad, associated with a conservative evangelical church-forming group, the Anglican Mission in England, having expressed, in the church's view, extreme views on a complex subject.[7][8]

The current bishop is Christopher Chessun, the 10th Bishop of Southwark, who signs +Christopher Southwark. He had previously been the area Bishop of Woolwich (2005–2011). When the post-holder ranks among the longest-serving 21 bishops heading a diocese, he or she will qualify for a place in the House of Lords, joining the other five who qualify ex officio, including the two archbishops.

List of bishopsEdit

Diocesan Bishops of Southwark
From Until Incumbent Notes
1905 1911 Edward Talbot Translated from Rochester, translated to Winchester
1911 1919 Hubert Burge Translated to Oxford
1919 1932 Cyril Garbett Translated to Winchester, and later to York
1932 1942 Richard Parsons Translated from Middleton, translated to Hereford
1942 1959 Bertram Simpson Translated from Kensington
1959 1980 Mervyn Stockwood
1980 1991 Ronald Bowlby Translated from Newcastle
1991 1998 Roy Williamson Translated from Bradford
1998 2010 Tom Butler Translated from Leicester
2011 present Christopher Chessun Translated from Woolwich


  1. ^ "Southwark", in The Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the World (1952), New York: Columbia University Press.
  2. ^ a b c Diocese of Southwark: History Archived January 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 21 October 2013.
  3. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory, 100th edition, (2007), Church House Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0.
  4. ^ "Christopher Thomas James Chessun". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  5. ^ London Gazette. March 21, 1905.
  6. ^ Diocese of Southwark: Bishops and Officers Archived 2006-10-15 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 25 November 2008.
  7. ^ Petre, Jonathan (2005-11-04). "Evangelicals defy bishop by holding 'irregular' ordinations". Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  8. ^ "A.M.I.E". Co-Mission. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  9. ^ "Historical successions: Southwark". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  10. ^ Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I., eds. (2003) [1986]. Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 274–275. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.

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