Our History

Diocese of London

The Diocese of London was established in the Roman era. The first Bishop whose name is known for certain was Bishop Restitutus who attended a Council at Arles in 314. London reverted to paganism after the Saxon invasions and the See was reconstituted in 604 with the first St Paul’s as its Cathedral. The new Diocese of London served the East Saxons covering the modern counties of Essex, Middlesex and Hertfordshire, lying entirely North of the Thames.

Today, there are five episcopal areas making up the Diocese of London covering 277 square miles of Greater London North of the Thames and serving a population of 3.6 million. The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE was installed as our 133rd Bishop of London at St Paul’s Cathedral on 12 May 2018.


Church of England Education

In 1811, Joshua Watson founded the “National Society for the Promotion of the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church”. The aim was to have a school in every parish for the education of the poor.

The National Society continues today as the Church of England Education Office (CEEO). Joshua Watson’s legacy is 5,000 Church schools which educate nearly a million children and young people across the country. 161 of these schools are within the London Diocese, educating close to 60,000 children and young people.

Church of England schools in London remain true to their deeply Christian heritage and continue to welcome children from all backgrounds, and all faiths and none.


The London Diocesan Board for Schools (LDBS)

In 1836 the LDBS was established to support the rapid increase in the number of new schools in the Diocese of London. In 1924 the Board was incorporated as a charitable company and it has been serving the children of London ever since.

From 2022 the board will be reconstituted in line with the 2021 Diocesan Boards of Education Measure. Our constitution has changed but our purpose and passion continue.