About the Diocese
The Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney is in the north-east of Scotland and comprises the City of Aberdeen, most of Aberdeenshire, a small part of Moray, and the ancient Diocese of Orkney, which included the Shetland Isles, founded in 1035. The Diocese has 42 churches and one religious community, the Society of our Lady of the Isles on Shetland. It also has St Margaret-of-Scotland House in Aberdeen, a venue for quiet days for individuals or groups of two or three.
The Diocese is currently in an Episcopal Vacancy and is due to elect a new Bishop in 2017 after our previous Bishop, the Rt Rev Dr Robert (Bob) Gillies retired on 31 October, 2016. The Rt Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness will have Pastoral Episcopal Oversight of our Diocese during the Vacancy. A list of the former bishops of the United Diocese and Aberdeen and Orkney is available here.
The Diocese's Cathedral, St Andrew's, in King Street, is close to the site of the consecration of the first bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, Samuel Seabury. Seabury was ordained in 1784, by the then Bishop of Aberdeen Robert Kilgour. The consecration took place in the former St Andrew's Chapel in Longacre, a site long since lost to redevelopment which was situated between the present cathedral and the city's Marischal College. A plaque in the Marischal College quadrangle commemorates the consecration, which effectively gave birth to the world wide Anglican Communion.
The Diocese continues to maintain strong links with the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. Clarence Coleridge, suffragan bishop of Connecticut, was consecrated by a bishop of Aberdeen in 1981. Coleridge was elected 13th diocesan bishop of Connecticut in 1993.
Aberdeen and Orkney is also is linked with the Diocese of Mthatha, in South Africa.
The following resources provide further information about the Diocese and its history:
- An online version of 'Steps on the Way - Scottish Episcopal Church History,' written by our Dean Emeritus Gerald Stranraer-Mull.
- "Seabury - A Scottish Retrospect" - Information about the circumstances regarding the consecration of Samuel Seabury.