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Diocese of Bath and Wells

The Diocese of Bath and Wells is one of the oldest dioceses in England, dating back to 909. The diocese covers the entire county of Somerset and parts of Bristol and Wiltshire. During the Reformation, it was initially resistant to change. However, in 1539, the Abbey of Bath was dissolved, and its buildings were stripped of their valuables. The last bishop in communion with Rome was deprived in 1559, and the diocese became part of the new Church of England. Despite the changes of the Reformation, the diocese continued to play an important role in the religious life of Somerset. It played a pivotal part in the construction of the magnificent Wells Cathedral during the 12th and 13th centuries, and it has a rich history of scholarship and missionary work. In the 19th century, it was at the forefront of the Tractarian Movement, which sought to revive traditional Catholic practices within the Church of England. Today, the Diocese of Bath and Wells is a thriving and diverse community of Christians. The diocese has over 500 parishes and serves a population of over 800,000 people.

     
Name
Tenure
Bishops of Bath and Wells
John Clerk 1534 (1523)–1541†
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William Knight 1541–47†
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William Barlow 1548–53 dep
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Gilbert Bourne 1554–55 (1558 dep); †1569
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To Catholic Church 1559–59 (repeal of Act of Supremacy)
Gilbert Berkeley 1560–81†
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Thomas Goodwin 1584–90†
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John Still 1593–1608†
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James Montague 1608–16 tr
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Arthur Lake 1616–26†
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William Laud 1626–28 tr
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Leonard Mawe 1628–29†
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Walter Curll 1629–32 tr
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William Piers 1632–70†
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Vacant 1646–60  
Robert Creighton 1670–72†
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Peter Mews 1672–84 tr
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Thomas Ken 1684–90 dep; †1711
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Richard Kidder 1691–1703†
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George Hooper 1703–27†
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John Wynne 1727–43†
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Edward Willes 1743–73†
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Charles Moss 1774–1802†
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Richard Beadon 1802–24†
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George Law 1824–45†
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Richard Bagot 1845–54†
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Robert Eden 1854–69 res; †1870
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Arthur Hervey 1869–94†
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George Kennion 1894–1921 res; †1922
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St John Basil Wilson 1921–37 res; †1946
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Francis Underhill 1937–43†
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John Wand 1943–45 tr
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Harold Bradfield 1946–60†
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Edward Henderson 1960–75 res; †1986
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John Bickersteth 1975–87 res
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George Carey 1987–91 tr
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James Thompson 1991–2002†
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Peter Price 2002–13 res
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Peter Hancock 2013–
••••

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