Diocesan Chancellor

The diocesan chancellor is the chief representative of the bishop in the administration of the diocese. From medieval times the chancellor had come to stand in for the bishop in the conduct of cases in the ecclesiastical courts which fell within the bishop’s jurisdiction. From the passage of the act 37 Henry VIII, c. 17 the office was open to laymen as well as ecclesiastics, but clergymen continued to be appointed to the position. The position was sometimes described as that of the Vicar general, and is generally united with that of Official principal, who acted as the bishop’s representative in causes of a civil or criminal nature.