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Diocese of Gloucester facts for kids

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Diocese of Gloucester
Dioecesis Glocestrensis
Diocese of Gloucester arms.svg
Ecclesiastical province Canterbury
Archdeaconries Cheltenham, Gloucester
Parishes 323
Churches 396
Cathedral Gloucester Cathedral
Bristol Cathedral (1836–1897)
Language English
Current leadership
Bishop Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester
Suffragan Robert Springett, Bishop of Tewkesbury
Archdeacons Phil Andrew, Archdeacon of Cheltenham
Hilary Dawson, Archdeacon of Gloucester

The Diocese of Gloucester is a Church of England diocese based in Gloucester, covering the non-metropolitan county of Gloucestershire. The cathedral is Gloucester Cathedral and the bishop is the Bishop of Gloucester. It is part of the Province of Canterbury.


The diocese was founded during the English Reformation on 3 September 1541 from part of the Diocese of Hereford and the Diocese of Worcester. In 1542 the Diocese of Bristol was created to cover Bristol, but on 5 October 1836 it was merged back into the Gloucester diocese, which became the Diocese of Gloucester and Bristol until Bristol became an independent diocese again on 9 July 1897, whereupon the Gloucester diocese resumed the name Diocese of Gloucester.

The diocese has twinning links with the dioceses of Dornakal and Karnataka Central in the Church of South India, Västerås in Sweden, El Camino Real in California, USA, and Western Tanganyika in Tanzania. It is currently supporting the work of the Diocese of Western Tanganyika to build a new high school.


The diocese is divided into two archdeaconries, Cheltenham, headed by the Archdeacon of Cheltenham, Robert Springett, and Gloucester, headed by the Archdeacon of Gloucester, Jackie Searle. The Archdeaconry of Cheltenham consists of the deaneries of Cheltenham, Cirencester, North Cotswolds, & Tewkesbury and Winchcombe, and the Archdeaconry of Gloucester consists of the deaneries of Forest South, Gloucester City, Severn Vale, Stroud, & Wotton.


The diocesan Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek (the first female diocesan bishop in the Church of England), is assisted by the Bishop suffragan of Tewkesbury Robert Springett.) The provincial episcopal visitor (for parishes in this diocese – among twelve others in the western part of the Province of Canterbury – who reject the ministry of priests who are women, since 1994) is Jonathan Goodall, Bishop suffragan of Ebbsfleet, who is licensed as an honorary assistant bishop of the diocese in order to facilitate his work there.

There are seven former bishops licensed as honorary assistant bishops in the diocese:

  • 1994–present: John Neale, former Secretary of the Partnership for World Mission and former Area Bishop of Ramsbury lives in Corsham, Wilts (in the neighbouring Diocese of Bristol, where he is also licensed.)
  • 2003–present: Former Bishop suffragan of Swindon Peter Firth, lives in Winchcombe and is also licensed in the Diocese of Bristol.
  • 2005–present: Patrick Harris, retired Bishop of Southwell, lives in Cheltenham and is also licensed in the Diocese in Europe.
  • 2010–present: Retired former Bishop suffragan of Warrington David Jennings lives in Northleach and is also licensed in the Diocese of Oxford.
  • 2013–present: Bob Evens, retired former Bishop suffragan of Crediton, lives in Charlton Kings.
  • 2014–present: Anthony Priddis, retired Bishop of Hereford, lives in Bridstow in Hereford diocese.
  • 2014–present: retired Bishop of Guildford Christopher Hill lives in Ruardean.
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