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Ripon, diocese of

Ripon, diocese of. Though the modern bishopric was not carved out of the York diocese until 1836, Ripon's early ecclesiastical history is inextricably associated with Wilfrid. About 650, Celtic monks from Melrose and Iona founded a monastery here, but in 661 Wilfrid, by then in Roman orders, became abbot and introduced the Benedictine rule. Consecrated bishop of York while in Gaul and finding on his return that Chad had already been appointed to York, he initially used Ripon as his seat. On Chad's move to Lichfield in 669, Wilfrid was restored to York, but for a short spell following 678 Ripon remained a bishopric under Eadhaed. Growth of industrial population, especially round Leeds, in the 19th cent. led to the creation of the modern diocese, simultaneously with Manchester. The present cathedral is the former late 12th-cent. Augustinian minster, transitional in style, though the nave is early 16th cent. The Saxon crypt is all that remains of the stone church, built c.678 by Wilfrid.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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