The Diocese of Chester

The Church of England is made up of two provinces: York and Canterbury. The Church comprises a total of 42 dicoeses, forty-one in England and one in Europe. 

The Diocese of Chester is situated in York province, in the north west of England, as shown in the map on the right. 

The diocese spans from Wirral and the Welsh border in the west to the limestone hills of the Derbyshire Peak District in the east. The north of the diocese reaches up to the rivers Mersey and Tame and the conurbations of south and east Manchester, and south to the towns of Crewe, Sandbach and Nantwich on the outskirts of Stoke-on- Trent and Shropshire.

The Diocese of Chester was created in 1541 and assumed roughly its present dimensions in 1880. 

The bishops

Three bishops serve the Diocese of Chester:

Rt Revd Mark Tanner, Bishop of Chester
Rt Revd Julie Conalty, Bishop of Birkenhead
Rt Revd Sam Corley, Bishop of Stockport

All three are quite new to the diocese. Mark arrived in May 2020, with Julie and Sam taking up their roles in July 2021. Further details can be found on the Bishops page of our website.



The Diocese of Chester is divided into two archdeaconries. Chester covers the western half and Macclesfield the eastern. Roughly speaking, the Archdeaconry of Macclesfield covers that part of the diocese to the east of the M6, plus the area around Crewe and Nantwich. The Archdeaconry of Chester covers the rest of the diocese to the west of the M6. Each archdeaconry is made up of nine deaneries. 

There are 273 parishes in the Diocese of Chester, about 100 of which can be described as rural. There are approximately 230 stipendiary clergy as well as over 400 licensed Readers and Pastoral Workers. The number of self-supporting ministers is increasing, with over 80 in post at present.

The Diocese of Chester enjoys links with the Anglican Church of Melanesia in the Solomon Islands and the Dioceses of Aru and Boga in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Page last updated: 16th September 2021 11:15 AM