The Church of England divides the country into administrative areas called dioceses for which bishops are responsible. Dioceses are ultimately subdivided into parishes. Every inch of England falls within a Church of England parish. Each parish has a parish priest (who may have the title Vicar, Rector, or Priest-in-Charge), who is responsible for ensuring that worship and prayer takes place for and on behalf of the people who live in the parish. He or she also has the responsibility for providing pastoral and spiritual care for everyone in the parish.
The Diocese of London has existed at least since 314AD, when a bishop from London is recorded as attending a Council of Bishops in Arles, in southern France. The Diocese was reorganised in 604AD, since when there has been a constant succession of bishops.
The Diocese covers 277 square miles of Greater London north of the Thames from Staines in the west to the Isle of Dogs in the east and as far north as Enfield. There are 479 churches, a similar number of clergy and 140 people currently in training for the ordained ministry. The diocese has 148 church schools with more than 46,000 pupils.
Under the guidance of the present Bishop of London, The Rt Revd, The Rt Hon Richard Chartres, the diocese of London has set out its priorities and goals until 2020 in The London Challenge.