Diocese of Guildford

Dioecesis Guildfordiensis
Diocese of Guildford logo.jpg
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Guildford
Coat of arms
Ecclesiastical provinceCanterbury
CathedralGuildford Cathedral
Current leadership
BishopAndrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford
SuffraganJo Bailey Wells, Bishop of Dorking
ArchdeaconsPaul Davies, Archdeacon of Surrey
Martin Breadmore, Archdeacon of Dorking
Guildford Cathedral
Guildford Cathedral

The Diocese of Guildford is a Church of England diocese covering eight and half of the eleven districts in Surrey, much of north-east Hampshire and a parish in Greater London. The cathedral is Guildford Cathedral and the bishop is the Bishop of Guildford. Of the two provinces of the church, it is in the Province of Canterbury.


The diocese was formed on 1 May 1927[1] from part of the Diocese of Winchester.[2]


Of the eleven secular districts of Surrey, eight and a half are in the diocese. The excluded parts are: Spelthorne, part of the Diocese of London; Tandridge; and the Redhill and Reigate half of Reigate and Banstead both in the Diocese of Southwark.

Rushmoor district in Hampshire and the eastern belt of Hart District are in the diocese, the belt being three-church Fleet, Crookham (comprising Church Crookham & Crookham Village), Cove, Minley, Hawley (which includes Blackwater) and Crondall & Ewshot church parishes.

Part of Rowledge church parish is in East Hampshire district rather than Surrey. Chessington (in Greater London) is in the diocese.[3]


The diocesan Bishop of Guildford (Andrew Watson) is assisted by the Bishop suffragan of Dorking (Jo Bailey Wells). The suffragan see of Dorking was re-created in 1968, having briefly existed in the Diocese of Winchester from 1905 to 1909.[2] The diocese usually operates an informal area scheme in which the diocesan bishop mostly oversees Surrey archdeaconry and the suffragan Dorking, dividing the episcopal workload between the western and eastern parts of the diocese respectively, and each to work with an archdeacon as well as the administrative staff. 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 two former bishops living in the diocese who are licensed as honorary assistant bishops:


In the far west of the diocese is a church-rich zone from Aldershot to Minley that has chiefly evolved from four original church parishes (bold). The diocese takes in three of those, still under the same parish names yet today reduced in size due to subdivision, nine of ten additional later church parishes shown; each with one core church and also (at present) six supplemental C of E churches.

Publications and work

Charitable work

Around 90 Church schools are financially linked to the Diocese of Guildford, including two Secondary schools.

The Bishop of Guildford's Foundation supports faith-linked projects and groups that respond to local needs and help build stronger communities. It expresses a sense of communal solidarity with people in need and provides a mechanism for wealthier parishes and church members to channel support to needier groups. Grants are made to a wide variety of causes, including charities working with people who have disabilities, family support projects, youth and children's workers, organisations developing employment for vulnerable people, community organisations, projects for the homeless, school healthy breakfast clubs restricted to the most disadvantaged or troubled families, the Guildford Street Angels team, a less mobile elderly group in Box Hill, and play activities and facilities for children in two of the neediest housing estates.[6]

Special ministries

Typically non-parochial ministry in the working hours of local priests, chaplains are appointed to 14 schools, to 10 further education colleges/universities, 23 hospitals and homes, the four prisons, Guildford and Woking town centres, Community of St Peter and Acorn Christian foundation, to the Ambulance Service. The diocese subsidises a BSL qualified Chaplain Among Deaf People.[7]


  1. ^ "No. 33269". The London Gazette. 26 April 1927. p. 2672.
  2. ^ a b History Archived 2005-12-31 at the Wayback Machine The Church of England: Diocese of Guildford. Retrieved 28 October 2013
  3. ^ Parishes and Deaneries Diocese of Guildford. Retrieved 28 October 2013
  4. ^ "Michael Alfred Baughen". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Christopher William Herbert". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  6. ^ Stories About Our Work Diocese of Guildford
  7. ^ Stories About Our Work Diocese of Guildford


Coordinates: 51°14′28″N 0°35′24″W / 51.2411°N 0.5900°W / 51.2411; -0.5900