The Bishop of Maidstone is an episcopal title used by a suffragan bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Canterbury, in the Province of Canterbury, England.[1] The title takes its name after the county town of Maidstone in Kent.

Canterbury suffragan

Until 2009, the suffragan Bishop of Maidstone had a similar, though subordinate, role to that of the Bishop of Dover: to assist the diocesan bishop (the Archbishop of Canterbury) in the episcopal leadership of the Diocese of Canterbury. It was decided at the diocesan synod of November 2010 that a new bishop would not be appointed; rather the Archdeaconry of Ashford was erected.[2]

"Headship" bishop

On 4 December 2014, it was announced that the see of Maidstone would be filled again in order to provide alternative episcopal oversight for particular members of the Church of England who take a conservative evangelical view on male "headship".[3] On 23 September 2015, Rod Thomas was consecrated Bishop of Maidstone.[4]

In June 2022, it was announced that, from January 2023, oversight of conservative Anglo-Catholics in the west of the Province of Canterbury (formerly the Bishop of Ebbsfleet's area) would be taken by a new Bishop of Oswestry, suffragan to the Bishop of Lichfield; while oversight of conservative Evangelicals would be taken by the next Bishop of Ebbsfleet; the See of Maidstone would be left vacant, available for other uses.[5]

List of bishops

Bishops of Maidstone
From Until Incumbent Notes
1944 1946 Leslie Owen Translated to Lincoln
1946 1956 no appointment
1956 1966 Stanley Betts
1966 1969 no appointment
1969 1976 Geoffrey Tiarks
1976 1980 Richard Third Translated to Dover
1980 1987 Robert Hardy Translated to Lincoln
1987 1992 David Smith Translated to Bradford
1992 2001 Gavin Reid[6]
2001 2009 Graham Cray
2009 2015 vacant
Bishops of Maidstone (AEO)
From Until Incumbent Notes
2015 2022 Rod Thomas [4] Retired 2 October 2022.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b Crockford's Clerical Directory (100th ed.). London: Church House Publishing. 2007. p. 947. ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0.
  2. ^ Canterbury Diocese — Synod News Archived 2011-06-15 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Thinking Anglicans – Appointment of a bishop who takes a conservative evangelical view on headship (Accessed 4 December 2014)
  4. ^ a b Lambeth Palace – Suffragan Bishop of Maidstone announced (Accessed 5 May 2015)
  5. ^ "Bishops of Maidstone, Ebbsfleet and Oswestry". Diocese of Canterbury. Archived from the original on 7 July 2022. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  6. ^ Succession details Archived 2007-08-17 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Bishop of Maidstone to retire in October 2022". The Bishop of Maidstone. 7 January 2022. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 18 July 2021.