Vacancy in See Committee

last updated on: 20th Oct 2015

Choosing a new Bishop of Leicester

A prayer for the process of choosing a new Bishop

Loving God,
in whose hand we are shaped and moulded,
raise up your church in this place, we pray,
and all who serve the diocese of Leicester.
Anoint your people for service
as you call another to be their bishop.
Pour out richly your gifts of unity and fellowship,
that we may glorify your name,
grow deeper in your love
and see your kingdom come.

Why do we need a new Bishop of Leicester?
Rt Revd Tim Stevens retired in July as Bishop of Leicester after 16 years in post. Until the next Bishop of Leicester is appointed, Rt Revd John Holbrook, Bishop of Brixworth, will act as interim bishop.  Full details of the interim arrangements can be found here

How will a new Bishop be chosen?
The process for choosing a diocesan bishop began in the diocese. However, because of the variety of roles which diocesan bishops have, not only within the Church of England but also in the local community and the nation at large, the choice is not made by representatives of the diocese alone. Diocesan representatives (known as the ‘Vacancy in See Committee’) work with representatives of the wider Church of England, under the presidency of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

What does the Vacancy in See Committee do?
The role of the Vacancy in See Committee is as follows:
• to prepare a brief description of the diocese and a statement setting out the desired qualities of the new Bishop. 
• to elect six diocesan representatives to the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC)

The Committee held a number of meetings between February and May 2015 and also carried out extensive consultations around the diocese to inform its work on the Statement of Needs. The description of the Diocese and the Statement of Needs prepared by the Vacancy in See Committee were considered by the CNC together with feedback from the Appointment Secretaries on the consultation process and information about the needs of the national church.

Who is on this committee?
The Vacancy in See Committees Regulations 1993 require that there shall continue to be in existence at all times a Vacancy in See Committee. In the Diocese of Leicester the members of this committee are:
Ex officio members
The Assistant Bishop: Bishop Christopher
The Dean of Leicester: David Monteith
The Archdeacon of Leicester: Tim Stratford
The Archdeacon of Loughborough: David Newman
General Synod member House of Clergy: vacant
General Synod member House of Clergy: John McGinley
General Synod member House of Clergy: John Plant
General Synod member House of Laity: Shayne Ardron
General Synod member House of Laity: Stephen Barney
General Synod member House of Laity: Anne Bloor
Chair of the House of Clergy: Peter Hooper
Chair of the House of Laity: David Wilson (Chair)

Elected, nominated and co-opted members
Elected House of Clergy: Rob Gladstone
Elected House of Clergy: Barry Naylor
Elected House of Clergy: James Shakespeare
Elected House of Laity: Brian Allard
Elected House of Laity: Gordon Arthur
Elected House of Laity: Angela Hunt
Bishop’s Council nominee: Chrispal Anand
Bishop’s Council nominee: Judith Ellis
Bishop’s Council nominee: Philip O'Reilly
Bishop’s Council nominee: Blossom Thompson

Crown Nominations Commission
The CNC consists of the two Archbishops (as Chair and Vice-Chair), six members of the General Synod (three clergy, three lay), six members elected by the diocesan Vacancy in See Committee (at least three of them lay), and two Appointments Secretaries (as non-voting members). The Archbishop of the Province presides, although he may delegate presidency of all or part of a meeting to the other Archbishop.
The Vacancy in See Committee has elected the following people to serve as members of the Crown Nominations Commission:
Mr Chrispal Anand
Mrs Anne Bloor,
Revd John McGinley
Very Revd David Monteith
Revd James Shakespeare
Professor David Wilson

The CNC met twice in September and October and on the second occasion interviewed potential candidates.

When the process is completed and the preferred candidate has accepted the nomination, the Sovereign formally nominates him or her to the See. At this point, the name of the person to be appointed will be made public – it is anticipated that this will be around the end of 2015. The College of Canons of the Cathedral then meets formally to elect the person nominated by the Crown. In electing the person nominated, the College of Canons expresses the consent of the diocese to the outcome of the process of discernment described above, in which the diocesan representatives will have played a full part.

It is then expected that the new bishop will take up office in the Spring of 2016.

A brochure outlining the Statement of Needs for the new Bishop of Leicester can be downloaded here.

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