The diocese roughly covers the county of Cambridgeshire (with the exception of the Soke of Peterborough), together with a section of north-west Norfolk and has its see in the City of Ely, Cambridgeshire, where the seat is located at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity.
The current bishop is the Right Reverend Dr Anthony John Russell, BA, DPhil, the 68th Lord Bishop of Ely, who signs +Anthony Elien:. The Bishops of Ely now reside in the Bishop's House, Ely, the former Cathedral Deanery.
For more than a century the monastery flourished, and about the year 1105 Abbot Richard suggested the creation of the See of Ely, to relieve the enormous Diocese of Lincoln. The pope's brief erecting the new bishopric was issued 21 November 1108, and on 17 October 1109 King Henry I granted his charter, the first bishop being Hervé le Breton, or Harvey (1109-1131), former Bishop of Bangor. The monastery church thus became one of the "conventual" cathedrals. Of this building the transepts and two bays of the nave already existed, and in 1170 the nave as it stands to-day (a complete and perfect specimen of late Norman work) was finished. As the bishops succeeded to the principality of St Etheldreda they enjoyed palatine power and great resources.
The Bishops of Ely frequently held high office in the State and the roll includes many names of famous statesmen, including eight Lord Chancellors and six Lord Treasurers. The Bishops of Ely spent much of their wealth on their cathedral, with the result that Ely can show examples of gothic architecture of many periods. They also had a London residence called Ely Place.
Among the bishops Geoffry Riddell (1174-1189) built the nave and began the west tower, Eustace (1198-1215) the West Porch, while Hugh de Northwold (1229-1254) rebuilt the Norman choir and John Hotham (1316-1337) rebuilt the collapsed central tower – the famous Octagon. Bishop Hugh (or Hugo) de Balsham (1258-1286) founded Peterhouse, the first college at the University of Cambridge, while Bishop John Alcock (1486-1500) was the founder of Jesus College.
Bishop Goodrich was a reformer and during his episcopate the monastery was dissolved. The last bishop in communion with the see of Rome was Thomas Thirlby. Since the Reformation, notable bishops have included Lancelot Andrewes, Matthew Wren, Peter Gunning and Simon Patrick.