The Church of England comprises two Provinces, Canterbury and York. Each province is broken down into dioceses. There are 41 in England (42 including the Diocese in Europe). The Diocese of Worcester is one of those and forms part of the Province of Canterbury.

The diocese covers an area of 670 square miles and includes the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.

The diocese was founded in around 679 by St Theodore of Canterbury for the tribe of the Hwicce. Today the diocese covers a population of 865,000. We have 97 benefices, 170 parishes and 285 churches.

The diocese is led by the Bishop of Worcester, supported by the suffragan Bishop of Dudley. Likewise, the diocese is divided into two archdeaconries - Worcester and Dudley, who each have their own Archdeacon.


Terms of use

The Bishop of Worcester has graciously contributed images from his collections to Shakespeare Documented, and retains sole ownership of said images. Visitors may link to and cite the images within Shakespeare Documented in personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images is strictly prohibited. Visitors must request permission from the Bishop of Worcester (care of The Registrar of the Diocese of Worcester, 8 Sansome Walk, Worcester, WR1 1LW, United Kingdom) for any additional use.


Documents contributed by The Diocese of Worcester, UK

November 27, 1582
Two documents record the marriage of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway but the evidence is flawed.
November 28, 1582
This marriage bond, dated November 28, 1582 states that there was nothing to prevent William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway’s marriage from taking place, and that the bishop of Worcester, who issued the marriage license would be safeguarded from any future possible objections.
March 25, 1601
Thomas Whittington, a shepherd living in Shottery, made his will on March 25, 1601, signing by mark. He was buried on April 19, 1601 and his will was proved ten days later.
Spring 1616
In the months after Thomas Quiney’s marriage to Judith Shakespeare, both he and probably his new wife were excommunicated for their failure to respond to the charge that they had not sought a license to marry during Lent, the church season before Easter.