Diocesan Registry

Each diocese in the Church of England has two legal officers, a Chancellor and a Registrar. The Registrar for the Diocese of Bath and Wells is Christopher Jones, a solicitor who practices at the legal firm of Stone King LLP, Bath. He became Registrar for the diocese in 2021.

The main areas of work undertaken by the Registry are:

  • Advice to Bishops, Clergy, Diocesan boards and Committees, PCCs, Churchwardens and members of the public concerning marriage, baptisms, burials etc.
  • Appointments of clergy – preparation of notices, licences and all documents relating to appointment of ordained clergy and lay officers
  • Consecrations – preparation of documents for consecration of churches, churchyards and cemeteries.
  • Diocesan Records – maintenance of records of churches and clergy, and advising on parish records and churchyard boundaries
  • Faculties – preparation of documents for changes or works to buildings and churchyards, and processing contested petitions
  • Marriage Licences – issuing Common Licences on behalf of Bishop of Bath & Wells to authorise marriages in parish churches
  • Patronage – maintaining registers of patrons, ensuring that the legal provisions are complied with for filling vacant benefices.

The Chancellor of the Diocese of Bath & Wells is Timothy Briden, who is a senior barrister. He is also Vicar General of the Province of Canterbury and Chancellor of the Diocese of Truro. He is a member of the Legal Advisory Commission of the General Synod and Chairman of the Ecclesiastical Judges Association.

Visit the parish support section for the latest legal guidance available to parishes.

Who to contact

Christopher Jones, Diocesan Registrar
Telephone: 01225 485723
Email: Christopher Jones

Sarah Williams, Registry Manager
Telephone: 01225 324406
Email: Sarah Williams



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