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Anglicans Online last updated 1 December 2013
England: About division into regions
The entire surface of England is now divided into what are known as 'ceremonial counties'. Each such county contains a number of local government units. There are two kinds of units. The technical differences between these two kinds of units are irrelevant for our purposes. All you need to know is that there are:
Typically the CofE diocesan boundaries are some natural geographic boundary such as a river, or the civil boundaries of a county or other unit at the date of the creation of the diocese, or perhaps at some subsequent date when a major diocesan change was made. But for example the boundary between St Albans and London dioceses still does not follow the current Hertfordshire/Barnet boundary, even though some parishes were transferred between the two dioceses shortly after the major 1974 government changes.
Such irregularities exist in other aspects of British life. For example, it is only in 2000 that the police boundary between the Metropolitan Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary has been adjusted to match these 1974 county boundary changes.
From the church administration viewpoint it is mildly inconvenient to have these anomalies, e.g a diocesan schools director may have to deal with more than one local education authority.
And of course, these boundaries are not recognised by the Post Office which persists in defining its own postal counties such as Middlesex, although the real Middlesex was abolished over 25 years ago. So postal addresses can sometimes be misleading in finding a place on the map.
Back to 'England by Region'
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