Rural civil parishes usually match the medieval ecclesiastical parish: this is especially true in Suffolk.  This table lists the name of each medieval Church and the Deanery in which it was located pre-1914, the period likely to be of most interest to family historians.  Parish Register transcripts are often published by Deanery area.  

The ecclesiastical Deaneries of the "Archdeaconry of Suffolk" (which in fact comprises only the eastern part of the County) have changed little since 1119.  Until around 1914 (and there have been only minor changes since), most of what is now our area fell within Orford Deanery or (on the coast in the north) Dunwich Deanery, whilst a handful of churches were/are in each of the surrounding deaneries of Hoxne (inland to the north), Loes (west) and Wilford (south). 

Of course, the following list excludes the many non-conformist Chapels, Roman Catholic Churches and other religions' Places of Worship, which bear no relationship to the civil organisational structures.

 

ALDE VALLEY CHURCH OF ENGLAND CHURCHES

                    

 

Pre-1914 Deaneries

 

current Saxmundham
Deanery benefices

 

 

 

Orford

Dunwich
⚓︎

other

 

 

  Aldeburgh, St Peter & St Paul O       Aldeburgh with Hazlewood
  Aldringham cum Thorpe, St Andrew   D     Whinlands
  Badingham, St John the Baptist     Hoxne            
  Benhall, St Mary O       Alde River
  Blaxhall, St Peter O       Alde River
  Boyton, St Andrew (with Capel St Andrew)     Wilford    
  Bruisyard, St Peter O        
  Butley, St John the Baptist     Wilford    
  Buxlow, St Peter (until 1722: then to "Knoddishall")   D    
  Campsea Ashe, St John the Baptist     Loes    
  Capel St Andrew (see Boyton)     Wilford    
  Carlton, St Peter   D     Saxmundham with K-c-C
  Chillesford, St Peter O        
  Cransford, St Peter O        
  Darsham, All Saints   D     Yoxmere
  Dennington, St Mary     Hoxne    
  Dunningworth, St Mary (see Tunstall)   [lost  village]  
  Dunwich, All Saints  ⚓︎   (last Rector left in 1755)   D    
  Dunwich, St James  ⚓︎  (built 1830)   D     Yoxmere
  Dunwich, St Peter    ⚓︎   (lost to sea in c.1688)   D    
  Eyke, All Saints     Loes    
  Farnham, St Mary O       Alde River
  Fordley (see Middleton)   D      
  Framlingham, St Michael     Loes    
  Friston, St Mary O       Whinlands
  Gedgrave (see Orford) O        
  Gt Glemham, All Saints O       Alde River
  Havergate Island (see Orford) O        
  Hazlewood, St Mary (until 1539: then to Aldeburgh) O      
  Hacheston, All Saints     Loes    
  Heveningham, St Margaret   D      
  Hollesley, All Saints     Wilford    
  Iken, St Botolph O        
  Kelsale, St Mary & St Peter   D     Saxmundham with K-c-C
  Knodishall, St Lawrence   D     Whinlands
  Laxfield, All Saints     Hoxne    
  Leiston cum Sizewell, St Margaret of Antioch   D     Leiston with Sizewell
  Lt Glemham, St Andrew O       Alde River
  Marlesford, St Andrew     Loes    
  Middleton cum Fordley, Holy Trinity   D     Yoxmere
  Orford, St Bartholomew O        
  Parham, St Mary     Loes    
  Peasenhall, St Michael   D     Yoxmere
  Rendham, St Michael O        
  Rendlesham, St Gregory the Great     Loes    
  Saxmundham, St John the Baptist O       Saxmundham with K-c-C
  Saxtead, All Saints     Hoxne    
  Sibton, St Peter   D     Yoxmere
  Sizewell (see Leiston)   D    
  Snape, St John the Baptist O       Alde River
  Sternfield, St Mary Magdalene O       Alde River
  Stratford St Andrew [1992: merged with Farnham] O      
  Sudbourne, All Saints O        
  Sutton, All Saints     Wilford    
  Sweffling, St Mary O        
  Theberton (with Eastbridge), St Peter   D     Yoxmere
  Tunstall (with Dunningworth), St Michael O        
  Wantisden, St John O        
  Westleton, St Peter   D     Yoxmere
  Yoxford, St Peter   D     Yoxmere
             
  nearby: Blythburgh, Holy Trinity   D      
  Wickham Market, All Saints     Loes    

 

⚓︎ In the Anglo-Saxon period, Dunwich was the capital of the Kingdom of the East Angles, an international port similar in size to C14th London, the See of a bishop — with eight churches, several chapels and monastic institutions — but its decline began in 1286-87 with a series of storms, and it was eventually reduced by abandonment and coastal erosion to the village it is today.  Its history means that it's our only community where BMD records survive for more than one ecclesiastical Parish, namely All Saints', St James' (built 1830) and St Peter's.  You can view here a marine archaeologists' map of medieval Dunwich.

Genealogist Elizabeth Walne has produced an excellent Suffolk "Parish Map c1850", and another mapping them to "Registration Districts 1837" — see here.

For fuller information on the Parishes and Deaneries of the whole county, visit http://suffolkfhs.co.uk/index.php/information/suffolk-parishes, or google with the place name, "church", and maybe "Suffolk".  Better still, if you have an interest in historical architecture, visit the probably unsurpassed Suffolk Churches website (which happens to include modern, Roman Catholic and non-conformist churches too).  There is also a full list by medieval church-name — for example, over 140 Suffolk place names are listed against St Mary! — on p.78 of the SFHS magazine "Suffolk Roots: August 1994", of which we hold a printed copy (Index ref. "SKRO0T948"), and which members of the Suffolk Family History Society can also view online in their Members' area

Apart from in the north-eastern area around Lowestoft, Anglican Churches in Suffolk are now in The Church of England Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.