Thinking Anglicans

Diocese to be known as ‘Diocese of Leeds’

The Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales has announced today that from later this year it will only use its official name, the Diocese of Leeds. Here is the official announcement.

Diocese to be known as ‘Diocese of Leeds’

Since its creation two years ago, the Diocese of Leeds has largely been known as ‘The Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales’. However, given the confusion this continues to cause, in future, once new branding has been created, the diocese is to be known only by its official title, the Diocese of Leeds…

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John HunterDavid EmmottTim ChestertonKeith BattarbeeStephen King Recent comment authors
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Kate
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Kate

A sensible move or just part of the growing trend of emphasising the metropolitan church over the rural church?

Sam
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Sam

As it should have been in the beginning, as it should be now, and as it should be forever, world without end.

George Davies
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George Davies

Obviously was going to happen, rather than the other way round.

Shame that North Yorks and Dales are now lost, but the Bishop will hold all needs together, until he moves to York!

Father David
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Father David

Will it therefore be unique in mainland England by being the only diocese without a cathedral in the place name of the diocese?
Now that it is soon to be vacant why not co-op Sheffield into the Diocese of Leeds, that would save a Bob or two in administrative costs?

David Emmott
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David Emmott

I thought it was illegal for Anglican and Roman Catholic dioceses to share the same names. Except Liverpool, Southwark and Birmingham of course where the RC one is an archdiocese. Newcastle’s counterpart is Hexham and Newcastle; Sheffield’s is Hallam.

PaulWaddington
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PaulWaddington

It is very odd that the official announcement refers to the confusion caused by the old title: Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, when the new title is bound to cause confusion with the Catholic Diocese of Leeds. How stupid can you get?

Peter Mullins
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Peter Mullins

Most people will think this makes sense and they will be right. I’m just a tiny bit sorry that the announcement doesn’t reference the ecumenial issue – if you enter http://www.dioceseofleeds.co.uk you won’t be taken to the website of the Anglican diocese. We once forbade the Catholics church from duplicating our titles (hence their use of titles from Hexham to Westminister), so all duplications have been the result of our subsequent action (Liverpool was the chief example until Leeds), but we later became more sensitive (e.g. the deliberate choice to use Brixworth rather than the more obvious Northampton as the… Read more »

Froghole
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Froghole

As to David Emmott’s comment, it was indeed illegal under the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 for an RC prelate to use an extant Anglican title: “And whereas the right and title of Archbishops to their respective provinces, of Bishops to their sees, and of Deans to their deaneries, as well in England as in Ireland, have been settled and established by law; Be it therefore Enacted, That if any person after the commencement of this Act, other than the person thereunto authorized by law, shall assume or use the name, style or title of Archbishop of any province, Bishop… Read more »

Richard
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Richard

I recall that an act of Parliament requires that a diocese be named for a city, not a region, county or a river. Hasn’t the official name been Diocese of Leeds from the start?

Richard
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Richard

From the diocesan website: Bishop Nick says, “We have always legally been the Diocese of Leeds, but the experience of the past two years has shown that having two names for the diocese is simply too confusing for people both inside and outside the Church.”

Paul Waddington
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Paul Waddington

Thank you to Froghole for providing the history. It is interesting that, even after the Ecclesiastical Titles Act of 1871, the Catholic Church has refrained from using any title that could cause offence or confusion. On the other hand, the Church of England have several times taken on titles that were already in use by the Catholic Church. Examples that come to mind are Birmingham, Southwark, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Lancaster, Shrewsbury and Plymouth. There may be others. On the other hand, the Catholics chose Southwark, Clifton, Hexham, Westminster, Beverley, Salford and East Anglia to avoid confusion and to obey the law.… Read more »

Stephen King
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Stephen King

As the Anglican organist of a Catholic Cathedral, I agree with Paul Waddington’s comment about discourtesy. I suspect the name change will come to be seen in that light, whatever the legal position might be.

David Emmott
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David Emmott

It can’t be impossible to name a diocese after more than one city: Bath and Wells for example. So why on earth did they not call this one Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield, which would avoid giving offence not just to our Catholic friends but to at least two of the cities which have been deprived of their own diocese? Or Ripon and Breedsfield if three names are felt to be too many (though some Irish dioceses have more than that)?

Keith Battarbee
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Keith Battarbee

I had assumed all along that the use of ‘W Yorks & t’Dales’ was a considerate avoidance of this clash with the Roman diocese. In Birmingham & Southwark, the C.of.E appropriation of an already existent Roman see’s title was, I have long understood, a prime reasons for the rather clever RC response of elevating these to arch-sees to eliminate further confusion. Certainly the motivation now offered that switching to ‘Leeds’-only will *avoid* confusion – blandly with no mention of the RC Diocese – is a piece of spin worthy of HMG. But maybe +Leeds(RC) will now become an Archbishop 😉

Tim Chesterton
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Meanwhile, beyond the ‘mother church’, out here in the colonies it’s fairly common for Anglican and Roman Catholic dioceses to share the same name. We do here in Edmonton, and we all get along fine; we refer to ourselves as ‘the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton’, and they refer to themselves as ‘the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton’.

But if you lot could change the name of that suffragen bishop of Edmonton you have over there in darkest London, that would save a lot of confusion!

David Emmott
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David Emmott

That’s fine where the Anglicans are not sniffily superior as we are in England. If C of E namesake dioceses were content to refer to themselves as ‘the Anglican diocese of N.’ we would get on fine. It’s only because our Catholic brothers and sisters are forbearing and tolerant of our eccentricities, that they put up with the implication, ‘well, we are the *real* diocese of N.’ I don’t know why they put up with such things as the Anglican cathedral in Liverpool being officially, and generally, known as ‘Liverpool Cathedral’ while the other one is ‘Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.’

John Hunter
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John Hunter

The name Diocese of Leeds, is very confusing, particularly as the Roman Catholics have had a diocese of Leeds for many years. If we want to use the name Leeds, it should be coupled with a parallel name (like Bath and Wells). Why not the ancient Christian princedom of Leeds – Elmet?