The Anglican Diocese of Salisbury is the seventh largest in area in the Church of England, extending over 2000 square miles, with a population of about 880,000. Within this diocese there is wide diversity in geography between the many urban areas and the deeply rural ones.
The diocese includes 95% of Dorset, 75% of the unitary authority of Wiltshire, the unitary authority of Poole, 40% of the unitary authority of Bournemouth, a small part of west Hampshire and one parish in Devon.
Poole is the largest urban area, followed by Weymouth & Portland, Salisbury and Trowbridge (the county town of Wiltshire), with many smaller
towns including Dorchester (the county town of
Dorset), Ferndown and Devizes.
In Wiltshire especially, the rural areas are grouped round a number of market towns to which the rural population looks for shopping and most services.
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