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Lichfield Diocese

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Key facts

  • Founded in 664, formerly Mercia (AD 656).
  • Staffordshire, except for a few parishes in the south-east (Birmingham, Derby); a few parishes in the south-west (Hereford); the northern half of Shropshire; Wolverhampton; Walsall; the northern half of Sandwell.
  • Population 1,998,000
  • Area 1,744 sq m
  • Full-time Stipendiary Parochial Clergy 275
  • Benefices 274
  • Parishes 423
  • Churches 578
  • Overseas link dioceses: W. Malaysia, Kuching, Sabah (Malaysia), Qu' Appelle (Canada), Mecklenburg.

Lichfield Diocese

About the Diocese of Lichfield

Located in the heart of England, Lichfield Diocese serves a population of two million people across Staffordshire, the northern half of Shropshire, most of the Black Country and a small part of Wales.

The diocese traces its roots back to AD656 and the See of Mercia.  In AD 664, Saint Chad moved the seat of the diocese to Lichfield from Repton. The city's name means "Field of the Dead" and is believed to stem from the slaughter of 1,000 Christians in the city at the hands of the Roman emperor Diocletian.

Lichfield has had a troubled past having been ravaged by the Vikings and laid siege to during the English Civil War. Over time the seat of the diocese was transferred to Chester, Coventry and then back to Lichfield in order to provide protection.

In Chad's time the diocese stretched from the Welsh border to the North Sea; and from Northumberland to the Thames. And, despite having shrunk somewhat over the years as parts of the diocese were carved off to form neighbouring dioceses, Lichfield remains one of the largest in the Church of England, covering an area of 1,744 square miles. The diocese has 583 churches and 427 parishes.

The diocese is headed up by the 98th Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, and is served by 294 full time stipendiary (paid) clergy and an even larger number of non-stipendiary (volunteer) clergy and lay ministers.

Today, it enjoys missionary partnerships with the Dioceses of Kuching, West Malaysia and Singapore in South East Asia; the Diocese of Qu'Appelle in Saskatchewan, Canada; the Diocese of Matlosane in South Africa; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg in north-east Germany.

The diocese provides a supportive framework for ministry in an area which celebrates its diversity, with thriving Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical congregations located throughout the three episcopal areas of Shrewsbury, Stafford, and Wolverhampton.