The Diocese of Oxford is part of the Church of England, which in turn is part of the Anglican Communion: a family of approximately 80 million Anglican Christians in more than 40 countries across the world. Oxford Diocese sits within the southern Province of the Church of England, under the care of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Diocese of Oxford is made up of 626 parishes, spread across the three counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. There are 815 churches in our diocese – more than any other diocese in the Church of England.
The Bishop of Oxford is the diocesan or most senior bishop, responsible for oversight of the whole diocese. Because of its large size, the Diocese of Oxford is divided into four smaller ‘episcopal Areas’, each overseen by their own Area Bishop. These are the Episcopal Areas of Oxford, Dorchester, Reading and Buckingham.
The Diocesan Secretary, is Rosemary Pearce who heads up and is responsible for all central services provided by the Diocese including HR, Finance, Mission, Communications, Schools, and the team who provide support on Parsonages and church buildings. She is responsible for the leadership and managerial oversight of the staff employed by the Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance and working in Diocesan Church House and in the four Episcopal Areas.
Rosemary is responsible to the Bishop of Oxford and the Chairman of the Board of Finance and has a key role advising on strategy, policy governance and resources. She is a member of the Bishop’s Staff and is titular Secretary of the Diocesan Synod and the Bishop’s Council.
The Church of England is governed through a structure of ‘synods’ or assemblies that operate at all levels of the Church. Each Synod is made up of clergy and laity and has a significant number of elected representatives.
The General Synod is the national assembly of the Church of England. It came into being in 1970 and replaced an earlier body known as the Church Assembly it is made up of elected members from each diocese. A new General Synod was elected during 2015. There is a list of Oxford General Synod members 2015 here.