It has happened before and it can happen again

Spin it how you like, there is little doubt that Anglican Communion is falling apart. Talk things up as best you can, you cannot avoid the truth that parishes in this country are under threat. So who is safe in this dangerous and uncertain world? Dioceses of course! The source of all theology, the focus of the new orthodoxy. The modern, managerial CofE will sacrifice anything to save this most treasured of institutions.

We may console ourselves that it was not always thus. ‘Pour encourager les autres’ here then is a list of some of those that once flourished and are no more. The first date marks the election of the first bishop, the second of the election of the last, which then gives the minimum number of years each institution survived (bishops like the vicars on parish lists, begin but do not cease until a successor is named).

634 Dorchester (Taken into Lincoln 1077 443
664 Leicester (with Lichfield, into Dorchester 874 210
673 Elmham with Dunwich (became Norwich) 1070 397
870 Cornwall and Crediton (became Exeter) 1050 180
909 Ramsbury (taken into Sherborne) 1058 149
635 Hexham 813 178
1536 Berwick (suffragan) 1572 36
1539 Shaftesbury (suffragan) 1539 1
1540 Westminster 1540 1
1909 Whalley (suffragan in Blackburn 1936 1