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. 


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 07903831967
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.

Current Church of England housing work

The Church of England is working on several fronts in response to the housing crisis. The Bishop for Housing helped launch the Homes for All campaign in April 2024, with wide support from the housing sector. It calls on the main political parties to commit to a long term vision for housing, backed up by a national housing strategy committee.

The Archbishops Council has allocated £4.25m over five years to provide advocacy and support to dioceses which seek to address housing need, including by making church land available for housing developments; the plans to deliver this are currently being developed with a view to launching them later this year.  

A major pilot project involving several dioceses in the greater West Midlands area will demonstrate how the new Church Housing Association can become a provider of genuinely affordable homes and community, and, in partnership with Housing Justice, we are helping scores of local churches to redevelop Church property to provide much needed housing.

The Church Commissioners are bringing forward substantial new developments that help to address housing need across England,  through mixed tenure developments that adopt the five Coming Home principles: sustainable, safe, stable, sociable, and satisfying. Where possible, the Commissioners also seek to go further than local plans mandate, for example via the delivery of Rural Exception Sites where they can provide a higher proportion of affordable housing.

All this is just the start though; much more needs to be done in and through the Church to make a just and appropriate response to the housing crisis, including growing a broad movement for change under the Church Housing Foundation.  The Bishop for Housing and others are continuing to press for institutional reforms and more resources in pursuit of this transformative vision: to ensure everyone has access to a decent, safe and affordable home in a thriving community.

Latest news from The Bishop of Chelmsford

Bishop Guli House of Lords 15 May 2024

Bishop Guli’s speech to the House of Lords during the Renters (Reform) Bill Second Reading

15 May 2024

Bishop Guli's speech to the House of Lords during the Second Reading of the Renters Reform Bill. 

Bishop Guli Israel and Palestine Visit 2024

Bishop of Chelmsford’s Visit to Israel and Palestine

13 May 2024

Bishop Guli's has visited Israel and Palestine to show solidarity with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and local Christians, to listen and understand more about the conflict and its impact on the Diocese and local communities and to take greetings from the Diocese of Chelmsford, assuring Archbishop Hosam and others of our prayers and support.

Honorary Canons

Collation, Installation and Admission of Canons

28 April 2024

On Sunday 28 April, people from across the Diocese gathered at Chelmsford Cathedral for the Collation, Installation and Admission of 33 Canons. 

Bishop Guli

Bishop Guli’s article for the Independent on the passing of the Safety of Rwanda Bill

24 April 2024

The passing of the Safety of Rwanda Bill is a dark moment in our country’s history, one that goes against our long-standing…

Bishop Guli - The Big Issue

Bishop Guli writes for the Big Issue about the new Homes for All Report

23 April 2024

It takes all of us to fix the housing crisis, writes the Church of England's lead bishop for housing the Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani for the Big Issue

Bishop Guli

Decision regarding the Archdeaconry of Harlow

12 April 2024

Bishop Guli has announced a decision regarding the Archdeaconry of Harlow