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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.

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 / 51.27972°N 1.08333°E / 51.27972; 1.08333Coordinates: 51°16′47″N 1°5′0″E / 51.27972°N 1.08333°E / 51.27972; 1.08333
CathedralCanterbury Cathedral
Current leadership
BishopJustin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
SuffragansBishop of Dover (vacant)
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, Archdeacon of Ashford



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), is in many ways empowered to act almost as if s/he were the diocesan bishop.

The province had from 1944–2009 a second locally focussed suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Maidstone, discontinued November 2010.[3] 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:

Diocesan structureEdit

For organisational purposes, the diocese is divided into three archdeaconries,[7] containing a total of fifteen deaneries:[8]

Diocese Archdeaconries Rural Deaneries
Diocese of Canterbury Archdeaconry of Canterbury Deanery of Canterbury
Deanery of East Bridge
Deanery of Reculver
Deanery of Thanet
Deanery of West Bridge
Archdeaconry of Ashford Deanery of Ashford
Deanery of Dover
Deanery of Elham
Deanery of Romney and Tenterden
Deanery of Sandwich
Archdeaconry of Maidstone Deanery of Maidstone
Deanery of North Downs
Deanery of Ospringe
Deanery of Sittingbourne
Deanery of Weald

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bishop of Ebbsfleet (Accessed 2 August 2013)
  2. ^ Thinking Anglicans – Appointment of a bishop who takes a conservative evangelical view on headship (Accessed 4 December 2014)
  3. ^ Canterbury Diocese — Synod News Archived June 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Turnbull, Michael. Who's Who. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 25 April 2014.  
  5. ^ Llewellin, (John) Richard (Allan). Who's Who. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 25 April 2014.  
  6. ^ Cray, Graham Alan. Who's Who. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 25 April 2014.  
  7. ^ Drew, Anna (11 September 2016). "New Archdeacon of Canterbury appointed". The Diocese of Canterbury. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Deaneries and parishes". The Diocese of Canterbury. Retrieved 26 December 2016.

External linksEdit