[The pictures above, from left to right are: Bishop Mark Rylands – Bishop of Shrewsbury, Bishop Geoff Annas – Bishop of Stafford, Bishop Jonathan Gledhill – Bishop of Lichfield – The ‘Diocesan’ Bishop, Bishop Clive Gregory – Bishop of Wolverhampton]
This Parish is part of the Diocese of Lichfield and part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Diocese of Lichfield is the Church of England in the north West Midlands. It traces its roots back to AD 656 when the Diocese of Mercia was formed. 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, to 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. Despite having shrunk somewhat over the years (as bits and pieces were melded into neighbouring dioceses), Lichfield remains one of the largest in the Church of England, serving a population of just under 2,000,000 people in 1,744 square miles, 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.
The Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Diocese. It is led by the Dean of Lichfield, Arian Dorber (pictured above) who says:
‘Welcome to Lichfield Cathedral! It is one of the oldest places of Christian worship in Britain, and the burial place of the great Anglo-Saxon missionary Bishop, St Chad.
The Cathedral has a rich history, reflected in its architecture and treasures, and, as a place of great beauty, it continues to inspire and encourage all who visit it.
As the symbolic centre and Mother Church of the Church of England Diocese of Lichfield, we are committed to the daily offering of worship and prayer to God, and to the offering of spiritual nourishment and space to all who come on their own journey of search and discovery.
As a community, the Cathedral sets high store by its welcome and hospitality, in this it tries to be faithful to the friendship and freedom given in the good news of Jesus Christ. Do come and visit. We will be delighted to see you.’
An image from the St. Chad Gospel at Lichfield Cathedral