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The Diocese of Merciamarker was created by Bishop Diuma in around 656 and the see was settled in Lichfieldmarker in 669 by the then bishop, Ceadda (later Saint Chadd), who built a monastery there. At the Council of Chelsea, Bishop Higbert was raised to the rank of archbishop and given authority over the dioceses of Worcester, Leicester, Lincoln, Hereford, Elmham and Dunwich. This was due to the persuasion of King Offa of Mercia, who wanted an archbishop to rival Canterbury. On Offa's death in 796, however, the Pope removed the archiepiscopal rank and restored the dioceses to the authority of Canterbury. In 803 the Council of Clovesho accepted this decision.

During the 9th century, the diocese was devastated by the Vikings. Lichfield itself was unwalled and had become rather poor, so Bishop Peter moved the see to the fortified and wealthier Chestermarker in 1075. His successor, Robert de Limesey, transferred it to Coventrymarker and the diocese was renamed the Diocese of Coventry and Lichfield. At this stage it also covered Derbyshiremarker and most of Warwickshiremarker.

In 1539 the see was transferred back to Lichfield and the name was reversed to become the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry. In 1837 Coventry was transferred to the Diocese of Worcestermarker.

The present bishop, the 98th, is Jonathan Gledhill.


  1. Who's Who - ecclesiastical structure, Diocese of Lichfield website]

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