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Salisbury Diocese

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Location map

51.0674229,-1.798964299999966,13

Key facts

  • Covers most of Dorset, most of Wiltshire, four village parishes in Hampshire and one in Devon.
  • The seventh largest Diocese in the Church of England, covering 2000 square miles
  • Total population ~880,000
  • Licensed Clergy 370
  • Benefices 145
  • Parishes 452
  • Churches 492
  • 198 Church schools and academies with 43,000 pupils
  • Overseas link dioceses: Episcopal Church in South Sudan and Sudan; Diocese of Évreux (France, Roman Catholic).

The earliest known image of Christ is probably that found in the floor of a Roman villa at Hinton St Mary in Dorset and now in the British Museum. The life of the Church in this beautiful part of the country is deep-rooted.

 

In the Saxon Church, this area produced great missionary leaders, with both men and women such as St Edith of Wilton in authority.  Holy places from this period continue to be used for prayer, thin places between heaven and earth. We had early experience of reorganising in response to a changing world so as to be better able to fulfil God's mission: St Osmund built the Norman Cathedral at Old Sarum in 1068 and admitted Saxons as well as Normans on an equal basis to the Cathedral Foundation.

 

Salisbury is the Diocese of some of those who shaped Anglican identity in the century after the Reformation - Bishop John Jewel, Richard Hooker, George Herbert. Now as then, we value scholarship and draw on the Christian authority of Scripture, tradition and reason to engage intelligently in the debates of the day.

 

We treasure our heritage, we're firmly fixed on renewing hope in the Church of the present, and confident of our place in God's future.

 

Within the broad framework of the Church of England, there is a welcome diversity of approach to what it means for us to follow Jesus Christ today.  We are respectful of differing theological perspectives and have a desire to work together. The Diocese is committed to there being a flourishing Christian presence in every community. In many places the inherited models of church adapt, develop and still serve well. We are developing new models of ministry for mission alongside this, creating experiments from which we all learn.

 

We believe in the importance ministry to children and young people and value our 198 Church schools and academies. We have deep links with our large independent school sector, where Anglican chaplaincy flourishes.

 

We're a Diocese where every Christian and every church is committed to the worship of God, the proclamation of the Gospel and the service of our neighbour. We believe in working in partnership - with one another, ecumenically, and with secular organisations. We believe in high standards in our personal relationships and professional life, and value the discipline of Daily Prayer.

 

All this can only happen in a Diocese that believes that in Christ we live and work together, sharing one another's joys and sorrows, burdens and opportunities. In this we seek to renew hope by pursuing truth and loving God. It requires our energy, engagement and a commitment to excellence.