Bishop Guli speaking with a mum in a church Bishop Guli

The Bishop of Chelmsford

The Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani

About Bishop Guli

The Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani has served as Bishop of Chelmsford since April 2021.

Chelmsford is the second largest diocese in the Church of England in terms of population and serves the communities of Essex and East London. In January 2021, Bishop Guli was also appointed as the lead Bishop for Housing for the Church of England and she has served as a member of the Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords since November 2021.

Between 2017 and 2021, Bishop Guli served as the first Bishop of Loughborough in the Diocese of Leicester. As well as assisting the Bishop of Leicester across the Diocese, her specific responsibilities included overseeing and supporting the vocations of those called to lay and ordained ministries. Before she became Bishop of Loughborough, Bishop Guli led Curate training in the Diocese of Peterborough.

Bishop Guli is currently Vice-President of the Conference of European Churches, Vice Chair of the Board of the Church Army and a contributor to BBC Radio 4s Thought for the Day.

Born in Iran, Guli’s family left the country in the wake of the Iranian Revolution in 1980, when she was 13 years old, and to date she has been unable to return. She is married to Lee, also a priest and they have three children.

Books by Bishop Guli

Titles written by Bishop Guli are listed below. 

Cries for a Lost Homeland: Reflections on Jesus' sayings from the cross
Reflections for Lent 2021: 17 February - 3 April 2021
Reflections for Advent 2021: 29 November - 24 December 2021


A selection of the latest videos featuring Bishop Guli are below.

To view more videos please visit our YouTube page

Media gallery images

Contact information

General enquiries

Please click to email the members of staff below.
Executive Assistant: Jo Bluck
Senior Secretary: Mrs Jane Carter


Chaplain to the Bishop of Chelmsford

The Revd Dr Rachel Pennant

Send an email to the Bishop's Chaplain


Communications and Media enquiries

Tom Geldard
Director of Communications & Media
Tel 01245 294424
Send an email to the Communications team


Enquiries relating to Bishop Guli's role as Bishop for Housing

For enquiries relating to Bishop Guli’s national role as Lead Bishop for Housing for the Church of England, please contact Jonathan Tame, Advisor on Housing and Community.

Send an email to Jonathan - usual working days Wednesday - Friday

Bishop Guli’s role for housing

The Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani is the national Lead Bishop for housing. In this role, Bishop Guli leads efforts to implement the recommendations of the Coming Home Report, the report of the Archbishops’ Commission on Housing, Church and Community.

The Church Housing Foundation

The Church Housing Foundation has been set up to take forward the recommendations of the Coming Home report of the Archbishops' Commission on Housing, Church and Community.

Chaired by Bishop Guli in her role as Lead Bishop for Housing, the Foundation is inviting dioceses and local parishes to get involved and help to respond to housing need in the communities they serve. 

Latest news from The Bishop of Chelmsford

Bishop Guli House of Lords 8 December 2023

Bishop Guli’s speech on the importance of stable housing during the Archbishop of Canterbury’s House of Lords Debate

8 December 2023

The Bishop of Chelmsford, and Church of England lead Bishop for Housing, the Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, has spoken about the importance of stable housing during the Archbishop of Canterbury's debate on Love Matters. 

Bishop Guli

Bishop of Chelmsford introduces Bill to allow humanitarian visas for those seeking asylum

29 November 2023

The Bishop of Chelmsford is proposing legislation to provide a safe and legal route to the UK for those seeking asylum, as part of attempts to crack down on illegal people smuggling across the Channel in small boats.

Bishop Guli

Bishop Guli’s Presidential Address to the November 2023 meeting of Chelmsford Diocesan Synod

25 November 2023

Bishop Guli’s Presidential Address to Diocesan Synod, November 2023.

Bishop Guli, House of Lords, 15 November 2023

Bishop Guli’s Speech to the House of Lords during the King’s Speech debate on Foreign Affairs

15 November 2023

On 15 November, Bishop Guli addressed the House of Lords during the King's Speech Debate on Foreign Affairs.

The 2023 service of thanksgiving, prayer and recommitment for those involved in Safeguarding

Giving thanks for those involved in the work of safeguarding in our diocese

17 October 2023

On 16 October, people from across our diocese gathered at Chelmsford Cathedral to give thanks for those who are involved in the work of safeguarding.

Jonathan Croucher and Kate Peacock

New Archdeacons of Chelmsford and Stansted appointed

27 August 2023

Bishop Guli has announced the appointments of the new Archdeacons of Stansted and Chelmsford.