Diocesan Registry

Worcester Diocesan Registry - who’s who?


The Church of England

The Church of England is made up of a number of different organisations and office-holders who work together to deliver the Church’s mission in each community.

England is divided into two provinces, Canterbury and York, with each province having an Archbishop and being divided into Dioceses. The Diocese of Worcester lies within the province of Canterbury. 

Dioceses are geographical areas, of which Worcester is one. The Diocese of Worcester was founded around 679AD. The Bishop of Worcester is the diocesan Bishop and the chief pastor of the diocese. He is assisted by the Bishop of Dudley.

Worcester Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Worcester (“cathedra” meaning “seat” in Latin).

The Diocese is divided into two Archdeaconries, Worcester and Dudley, the day to day responsibility for which lies with the Archdeacon of Worcester and the Archdeacon of Dudley respectively.

Each Archdeaconry is divided into deaneries, each having a Rural Dean and within the Deaneries there are separate Benefices. A Benefice is an ecclesiastical office usually within the care of a single paid minister known as an incumbent.

Within each Benefice there are then individual Parishes, which all have Churchwardens and a Parochial Church Council.

The Deaneries and the Diocese each have Synods on which laity and clergy are represented.

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The Worcester Diocesan Board of Finance Limited

The Diocesan Board of Finance is the administrative body of the Diocese of Worcester. It holds property and is empowered to transact the business of the Church of England within the diocese.

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Worcester Diocesan Registry

The Diocesan Registrar is a solicitor and is the legal officer of the Diocese of Worcester. This entails providing legal advice to the Bishop of Worcester and the Bishop of Dudley, the Archdeacons, the Bishop’s staff, other diocesan officers, clergy, officers and volunteers in the parishes of the diocese, as well as to boards and councils about their functions. The work includes: 

  • responding to enquires relating to marriage, baptism, confirmation and burial from clergy and laity, preparing various documents, the maintenance of Diocesan records and the operation of the Faculty Jurisdiction.
  • preparing appropriate documentation for the ordination of clergy and the induction and licensing of clergy and others in the Diocese.
  • advising on the law relating to faculties, liaising as appropriate with the Chancellor of the Diocese and other bodies and persons and issuing all necessary documentation (the Chancellor is a lawyer and is the judge of the consistory court of the diocese. The Worshipful Charles Mynors is the Chancellor of the Diocese of Worcester).
  • maintaining all the appropriate diocesan and parochial records, including Deeds and Patronage Registers. 
  • advising Churchwardens, Parochial Church Councils and other church officers on all legal matters relating to their functions.
  • preparing agendas for and attending meetings of the Diocesan Trustees and where appropriate of the Diocesan/Parochial meetings. 
  • acting as required on matters relating to clergy discipline. 
  • acting as required in connection with the consecration of Churches and Churchyards.

Stuart Ness - Solicitor, Registrar of the Diocese of Worcester


Jack Smith – Solicitor, Deputy Diocesan Registrar


As well as undertaking the Diocesan Registry work, Stuart and Jack also act for the Chapter of Worcester Cathedral.

Liz Matthews – Registry Secretary

Michell Robinson – PA to Stuart Ness


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