The Diocesan Registry

Each Diocese of the Church of England has two Legal Officers, the Chancellor and the Registrar, who may have deputies. The following are the main areas of work undertaken by the Registrar at the Diocesan Registry:
  • Advice - The giving of advice to the Bishops and all other clergy, to diocesan boards and committees, and to Churchwardens and Parochial Church Councils, and dealing with general enquiries from members of the public in relation to marriage, baptism, burial, etc.
  • Appointments - The preparation of notices, licences, permissions, instruments and all other documents relating to the appointment of clergy and lay office holders.
  • Consecrations - The preparation of the documents required for the consecration of churches, churchyards and cemeteries.
  • Diocesan Records - The maintenance of records relating to churches, clergy, etc.
  • Faculties - The granting of Faculties to authorise changes or additions to consecrated buildings and burial grounds.
  • Marriage Licences - The issue of Common Licences on behalf of the Bishop of Norwich, to authorise marriages in parish churches and in other buildings licensed for the solemnisation of marriages according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England.
  • Patronage - Maintenance of a register of patrons of the diocese, and ensuring that the provisions of the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986 are complied with in relation to the filling of vacant benefices.


Who we are

David Etherington is the Chancellor of the Diocese of Norwich. He was appointed as the Chancellor on 2 September 2019. He is a barrister, practising from chambers in London, and also sits as a Recorder. He is also the Chancellor of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, and Deputy Chancellor for the Diocese of Ely. He is an experienced ecclesiastical lawyer and judge.

Stuart Jones is the Registrar of the Diocese of Norwich. He was admitted as a Solicitor in 1983 and is employed by Birketts LLP in Norwich.  He has been the Registrar of the Diocese of Norwich and the Bishop’s Legal Secretary since 1 January 2009.

James Hall is the Deputy Registrar of the Diocese of Norwich.  He is a solicitor and a partner with Birketts LLP in their Ipswich office. He has been the Registrar of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich for a number of years and has been the Deputy Registrar of the Diocese of Norwich since 1 January 2009.

Mrs Joanna Pelan is the Registry Clerk.


Contact us

Norwich Diocesan Registry

Birketts LLP
Kingfisher House
1, Gilders Way

DX 5230 Norwich

Telephone : 01603 756 400
Fax : 01603 756 554

Stuart Jones M.A. (Cantab.), Diocesan Registrar 
A Solicitor regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
Telephone: 01603 756 501

Joanna Pelan, Clerk to the Diocesan Registry
Telephone: 01603 756459