Archive Item of the Week: A Special Relationship with the Parishes

Welcome to Archive item of the week:  where we delve into Guildford Cathedral Archives to highlight some of the unique items within the collection

This week: The Diocese.  Our People’s Cathedral Archivist shares with you an interesting part of the Cathedral Archives linking the Cathedral to the Diocese.


 As with any Cathedral building, Guildford Cathedral sits within the Guildford Diocese.  The Diocese was formed on 1 May 1927 and was formed from part of the Diocese of Winchester Cathedral.  If you are unaware of the extent of Diocese of Guildford and where it sits within the South of England let us explain.  The Diocese itself is around 500 square miles and includes most of Surrey and parts of North Hampshire, skimming West Sussex in places, within this there are around 163 parishes and 218 churches.  The Diocese borders the Diocese of London, Southwark, Chichester, Portsmouth, Winchester and Oxford.


An interesting part of our archive collection helps visitors and researchers piece together just what the Diocese looks like and this is the John Clark Map.




It is a fascinating archive item that helps bring together Diocese in a visual way.  It is the work of John Clark in 1954 who was a former school pupil at Country Grammar School, Godalming.


As a 17 year old schoolboy he cycled around the diocese visiting the various parishes sketching each church as he went. He then went and produced beautiful watercolour paintings of each of these parish churches which are incorporated within this Map of the Diocese.


The map is currently on display within the Cathedral and is a beautiful piece of artwork in its own right but it also helps strengthen that relationship between the Cathedral and the Parishes.  It is always interesting to see people spotting their local parish churches.  If you live in the Diocese come and have a look to see your parish church in watercolour.

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