Diocese of Exeter

Diocese of Exeter
Diocese of Exeter
Ecclesiastical province Canterbury
Archdeaconries Barnstaple, Exeter, Plymouth, Totnes
Parishes 506
Churches 625
Cathedral Exeter Cathedral
Current leadership
Bishop Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter
Suffragans Robert Evens, Bishop of Crediton
John Ford, Bishop of Plymouth
Archdeacons David Gunn-Johnson, Archdeacon of Barnstaple
Penny Driver, Archdeacon of Exeter
John Rawlings, Archdeacon of Totnes
Ian Chandler, Archdeacon of Plymouth

The Diocese of Exeter is a Church of England diocese covering the county of Devon. It is one of the largest dioceses in England. The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter in Exeter is the seat of the diocesan bishop, the Right Reverend Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter. It is part of the Province of Canterbury. The bishop is assisted in his duties by two suffragan bishops: the Bishop of Crediton and the Bishop of Plymouth.



The Diocese of Crediton was created out of the Diocese of Sherborne in AD 909 to cover the area of Devon and Cornwall.[1] Crediton was chosen as the site for its cathedral, possibly due it having been the birthplace of Saint Boniface and also the existence of a monastery there.[2]

In 1046, Leofric became the Bishop of Crediton: following his appointment he decided that the see should be moved to the larger, more culturally significant and defensible walled town of Exeter. In 1050, King Edward the Confessor authorised that Exeter was to be the seat of the bishop for Devon and Cornwall and that a cathedral was to be built there for the bishop's throne. Thus, Leofric became the last diocesan Bishop of Crediton and the first Bishop of Exeter.[2]

The diocese remained unchanged until 1876, when the former Archdeaconry of Cornwall became the independent Diocese of Truro.


The diocese is divided into four archdeaconries. The Bishop of Crediton oversees the Archdeaconries of Barnstaple and Exeter. The Bishop of Plymouth oversees the Archdeaconries of Plymouth and Totnes.

Archdeaconry of Exeter (Archdeacon: The Venerable Penny Driver)

Archdeaconry of Totnes (Archdeacon: The Venerable John Rawlings)

  • Deanery of Moreton
  • Deanery of Newton Abbot and Ipplepen
  • Deanery of Okehampton
  • Deanery of Torbay
  • Deanery of Totnes
  • Deanery of Woodleigh

Archdeaconry of Barnstaple (Archdeacon: The Venerable David Gunn-Johnson)

Archdeaconry of Plymouth (Archdeacon: The Venerable Ian Chandler)

  • Deanery of Ivybridge
  • Deanery of Devonport
  • Deanery of Moorside
  • Deanery of Sutton
  • Deanery of Tavistock

Coat of arms

The arms of the diocese are Gules two keys in saltire Or a sword hilt downwards in pale Argent with hilt Or surmounted by a mitre. The charges are emblems of Saints Peter (keys) and Paul (sword) who are the patron saints of the cathedral.[3]


Further reading

  • Oliver, George (1846) Monasticon Dioecesis Exoniensis: being a collection of records and instruments illustrating the ancient conventual, collegiate, and eleemosynary foundations, in the Counties of Cornwall and Devon, with historical notices, and a supplement, comprising a list of the dedications of churches in the Diocese, an amended edition of the taxation of Pope Nicholas, and an abstract of the Chantry Rolls; [with supplement and index]. Exeter: P. A. Hannaford, 1846, 1854, 1889

External links

Coordinates: 50°43′21″N 3°31′46″W / 50.7225°N 3.52944°W / 50.7225; -3.52944

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