The Bishop of Winchester is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Winchester in the Church of England. The bishop's cathedra is at Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire.
The Bishop of Winchester is one of five Church of England bishops who are among the Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords regardless of their length of service. The Lords Spiritual are the 26 bishops in parliament house. The other members are called the Lords Temporal.
The bishop's diocese is one of the oldest and most important in England. Originally it was the see of the kingdom of Wessex, with the cathedra at Dorchester Cathedral under Saints Birinus and Agilbert. It was transferred to Winchester in AD 660. During the Middle Ages, it was one of the wealthiest English sees and its bishops have included a number of politically prominent Englishmen, notably the 9th century Saint Swithun. Winchester was divided in AD 909, with Wilthsire and Berkshire transferring to the new See of Ramsbury. During the 19th century, the bishop licensed many prostitutes who were known as the "Winchester Geese" and maintained a cemetery for them.
The official residence of the Bishop of Winchester is Wolvesey Palace in Winchester. Other traditional homes included Farnham Castle and a residence at Winchester Palace in Southwark, Surrey (now London). The bishop is the visitor to five Oxford colleges including New College, Oxford and St John's College, Oxford.
The 97th Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, was enthroned on 21 April 2012, having been elected on 14 October 2011. He was consecrated as a bishop in St Paul's Cathedral, London, on 25 January 2012.