Diocese of Lincoln

For the American Catholic diocese, see Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln.
Diocese of Lincoln
Ecclesiastical province Canterbury
Archdeaconries Lincoln, Stow and Lindsey, Boston
Parishes 515
Churches 640
Cathedral Lincoln Cathedral
Current leadership
Bishop Christopher Lowson, Bishop of Lincoln
Suffragans David Court, Bishop of Grimsby
Nicholas Chamberlain, Bishop of Grantham
Archdeacons Justine Allain Chapman, Archdeacon of Boston
Mark Steadman, Archdeacon of Stow and Lindsey
Gavin Kirk, Archdeacon of Lincoln

The Diocese of Lincoln forms part of the Province of Canterbury in England. The present diocese covers the ceremonial county of Lincolnshire.


The diocese traces its roots in an unbroken line to the ancient Diocese of Leicester founded in 679. The see of Leicester was translated to Dorchester in the late 9th century, before taking in the territory of the Diocese of Lindsey and being translated to Lincoln. The diocese was then the largest in England, extending from the River Thames to the Humber Estuary. In 1072, Remigius de Fécamp, bishop under William the Conqueror, moved the see to Lincoln, although the Bishops of Lincoln retained significant landholdings within Oxfordshire. Because of this historic link, for a long time Banbury remained a peculiar of the Bishop of Lincoln. The modern diocese remains notoriously extensive, having been reportedly referred to by Bob Hardy, Bishop of Lincoln, as "2,000 square miles of bugger all" in 2002.[1]

The dioceses of Oxford and Peterborough were created in 1541 out of parts of the diocese, which left the diocese with two disconnected fragments, north and south. In 1837 the southern part was transferred to other dioceses: Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire to the Diocese of Ely, Hertfordshire to the Diocese of Rochester and Buckinghamshire to the Diocese of Oxford. Also in 1837 the county of Leicestershire was transferred from Lincoln to Peterborough (and became the independent Diocese of Leicester in 1927). The Archdeaconry of Nottingham was transferred to the Lincoln diocese at the same time.

In 1884, the Archdeaconry of Nottingham was detached to form a part of the new Diocese of Southwell.



By virtue of the 2009 scheme of delegation,[2] whilst the Bishop of Lincoln exercises general oversight, the Bishops of Grimsby and of Grantham[3] were seen as leaders in mission in the north and south of the Diocese respectively until that scheme lapsed upon the 6 April 2013 retirement of the Bishop of Grimsby, which was followed by a review of roles of bishops in the diocese.[4] The suffragan See of Grantham was created in 1905, and the See of Grimsby in 1935. It would seem that the decision to not fill the suffragan see of Grantham was taken at some point,[5] but later reversed.

Alternative episcopal oversight (for parishes in the diocese which reject the ministry of priests who are women) is provided by the provincial episcopal visitor, Norman Banks, Bishop suffragan of Richborough, who is licensed as an honorary assistant bishop of the diocese in order to facilitate his work there. There are also three retired bishops living in the diocese who are licensed as honorary assistant bishops:


The diocese is divided into three archdeaconries and 22 deaneries. On 22 April 2013, it was announced that a third archdeacon had been appointed pending a pastoral reorganisation. The changes to the archdeaconries enacted by the resulting pastoral scheme were announced on 15 November:[11]

The diocese produces a bi-monthly newspaper called Crosslincs which is edited by the Diocesan Communications Officer.

See also


  1. Lincolnshire Echo — Thousands attend emotional farewell to the Bishop of Lincoln (Accessed 18 June 2016)
  2. "Instrument Delegating the functions of the Bishop of Lincoln in order to give effect to a Collaborative Working Agreement approved by the Diocesan Synod of the Diocese of Lincoln on 8th July 2009 and made pursuant to Section 13 Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007". Diocese of Lincoln. Retrieved 29 May 2012. The Office of Diocesan Bishop ensures the territorial integrity of the Diocese so that within the area of the Diocese there is scope for other areas to be formed as Parishes, Deaneries, Archdeaconries and areas of Episcopal oversight – the Sees of Grimsby and Grantham are examples of the latter.
  3. "Diocese of Lincoln Who's Who". Diocese of Lincoln. Retrieved 21 May 2011. The Area Bishops
  4. Diocese of Lincoln – Diocesan Profile 2013 (Accessed 28 March 2013)
  5. Diocese of Lincoln – Who's Who (Archived, 16 October 2013) (Accessed 2 April 2014)
  6. Tustin, Rt Rev. Dr David. Who's Who. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  7. crosslincs (Diocese of Lincoln newspaper) – No. 38, Lent 2013 (Accessed 23 April 2014)
  8. Rossdale, Rt Rev. David Douglas James. Who's Who. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  9. BBC News – Bishop of Grantham Tim Ellis steps down (Accessed 23 April 2014)
  10. Ellis, Rt Rev. Timothy William. Who's Who. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  11. Diocese of Lincoln – New Archdeaconries (Accessed 29 November 2013)

External links

Coordinates: 53°14′03″N 0°32′12″W / 53.2343°N 0.5367°W / 53.2343; -0.5367

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