This collection contains the records of the central spiritual administration of the Church of England within the diocese of Durham. These records relate to the following.
- Formal duties carried out by (or in the name of)the Bishop of Durham, in relation to clergy, parishes, churches etc (Episcopal administration, ref DDR/EA)
- Work of the Diocesan Synod (and before it, of Diocesan Conference), of the committees that own and administer diocesan property, finances etc, and of societies that are closely associated with the diocese (Diocesanadministration, ref DDR/DA)
- Functions of the bishop's Chancellor (i.e. judge), in connection with marriage licences, faculties for church alterations and other judicial matters in the bishop's Consistory Court (Jurisdiction and courts, refDDR/EJ)
- Formal oversight of the clergy and parishes within the diocese by the bishops, exercised by a process called visitation(Visitation and oversight, ref DDR/EV)
- Work of the bishop's own staff, dealing with more personal concerns and duties carried out by the bishop in person or relating to his household (at Auckland Castle) (BIshops’ Office records, ref DDR/BP)
- Records of other central diocesan officials, including archdeacons, rural deans and the officials responsible for the peculiar jurisdictions of the Bishop of Durham and of Durham Cathedral;(ref DDR/A,D,P)
- Some non-diocesan material deposited for safe-keeping in the Diocesan Registry (within DDR/EA/RGN)
Records generated by individual Church of England parishes are not held among the Durham Diocesan Records, but by the relevant County Record Office. See under related collections below for information on separate collections of records associatedwith the Bishop of Durham and the Church of England.