History

While the modern See of Iran was not founded until 1912, its story goes back a half-century earlier when Henry Martyn and Robert Bruce, who were among its founders began to work here around 1869.

In 1883 Thomas Valpy French was the first bishop of the Episcopal tradition who came here from Lahore. While in Persia he traveled around the main stations and supported the spiritual ministry of the Rev Stuart.

However the modern and contemporary history of the Diocese begins with William James Thompson who was consecrated as the third bishop in Iran in St Paul’s Cathedral, London on 18 October 1935. After a successful ministry as Bishop, he chose as his successor to lead the Diocese one of his old pupils, Hasan Barnaba Dehqani Tafti, who was consecrated as the fourth Bishop of Iran on 25 April 1961. After Bishop Hasan’s retirement, Bishop Iraj Mottahedeh was elected as the fifth Bishop of Iran and consecrated on 11 June 1986.

In 2004, on the retirement of Bishop Iraj Mottahedeh, the Central Synod of the Middle East invited Bishop Azad Marshall, Bishop of the Persian Gulf and Associate Bishop of the Church in the Middle East, to provide Episcopal oversight to the Diocese as Vicar General. In 2007 he was elected by the Synod of the Diocese of Iran as Diocesan Bishop and installed on August 5 2007 in St Paul’s Church Tehran by the Presiding Bishop of Jerusalem and the Gulf, Most Rev Mouneer Anis.

Bishop Marshall was consecrated at the Cathedral Church of the Resurrection in Lahore on June 4 1994. He studied Arts and Theology at Lahore, Cambridge and London. He is married to Lesley who directs a ministry to underprivileged women in Pakistan. They have two children, Michelle married to Mark Samuel and their son Joshua Marshall studying at University.

Bishop Azad Marshall is known for his pastoral heart, making the care and welfare of parishes his priority as well as developing good relations with Goverment and with people of other faiths bringing harmony in society and promoting world peace at large.