Each diocese in the Church of England has two legal officers, a Chancellor and a Registrar. The Registrar for the Diocese of Bristol is Mr Roland Callaby, who is a Solicitor who practices at the legal firm of Harris & Harris, based in the Market Place in Wells.

The Diocesan Registry
14 Market Place

Roland Callaby
Diocesan Registrar
Phone: 01749 674747
Sarah Williams
Registrars Clerk
Phone: 01749 674747

The main areas of work undertaken by the Registry are:

Advice to Bishops, Clergy, Diocesan boards and Committees, PCCs, Churchwardens and members of the public relating to marriage, baptisms, burials, etc

Appointments of clergy preparation of notices, licences and all documents relating to appointment of ordained clergy and lay officers

Consecrations preparation of documents for consecration of churches, churchyards and cemeteries.

Diocesan Records maintenance of records of churches and clergy, and advising on parish records and churchyard boundaries

Faculties preparation of documents for changes or works to buildings and churchyards, and processing contested petitions

Marriage Licences issuing Common Licences on behalf of Bishop to authorise marriages in parish churches

The General Register Office, along with HM Passport Office, publishes a useful Guidebook for the Clergy which gives comprehensive details about procedures and documentation for marriages, such as how to describe a housewife on a marriage certificate or what to do when a mistake is discovered on a marriage certificate. The guide was most recently updated in March 2019 and can be found at For any questions about this, please contact the Diocesan Registry

Patronage maintaining registers of patrons, ensuring that the legal provisions are complied with for filling vacant benefices.

To contact the Registry team: e-mail or call 01749 674747.


An overview of marriages download
Details of new marriage rules post-Brexit download
Q&A about post-Brexit marriages download
Churchyards Overview download
Exhumation Guidance download
Churchyard regulations download

The Chancellor of the Diocese of Bristol is Mr Justin Gau, who is a senior barrister. He is also Deputy Chancellor for the Dioceses of Bath & Wells and Lincoln.

The Diocesan Registry team at Harris & Harris also deals with matters relating to church property such as vicarages and church halls, and with church charities.

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