HL Deb 20 May 1901 vol 94 cc555-6

Order of the day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, this is a Bill for dividing the diocese of Rochester on the ground that the diocese is now so large that it is hardly possible for the administration of it to be continued by one bishop. The Bill authorises a bishopric of Southwark, to be founded by Order in Council, when the endowment fund reaches the specified amount. The diocese is to consist of the rural deaneries of Greenwich, Lewisham, Woolwich, Battersea, Camberwell, Clapham, Kennington, Lambeth, Newington, Southwark, Barnes, Beddington, Godstone, Kingston, Reigate, and Streatham, and of such other parishes as may be transferred to the diocese in pursuance of this Act. The diocese of Rochester at present includes a population numbering, according to the last census, upwards of two millions of persons. The new diocese of Rochester will have a special character of its own, extending along the banks of the Thames for a considerable distance, and possessing a certain community of interest. In making the sub-division the machinery of the Act of 1878 is used with such modifications as are applicable to the particular character of the diocese which is to be sub-divided. The amount of the income required for the formation of the diocese of Southwark is to be rather higher than is inserted in the principal Act, and that is a safeguard that neither the new nor the old bishopric will be lowered in character and position. The money is to be obtained most largely from the contributions of those who are interested in the subject. The only change in other respects is that certain parishes will be transferred from they diocese of Canterbury to the diocese of Rochester, and to that I have assented.

Bill read 2a (according to Order), and committed to a Committee of the whole House.