Vacancy in See Committee

last updated on: 27th Jan 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?
Bishop Tim has announced that he will be retiring as Bishop of Leicester on 11 July 2015 after sixteen years in post.

How will a new Bishop be chosen?
The process for choosing a diocesan bishop begins 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 work with representatives of the wider Church of England, under the presidency of the Archbishops.

How do I make my views known?
There will be a process of consultation that will help us identify the person who could best lead the Diocese of Leicester in the next phase of its journey. The Vacancy in See Committee will put together a description of the Diocese and its thoughts on the qualities needed in the next Bishop of Leicester. As part of the broader consultation, and because the Bishop of Leicester has a national role, the Appointments Secretaries (Caroline Boddington for the Archbishops and Edward Chaplin for the Prime Minister) will spend two days in the Diocese sometime in  2015, meeting a wide range of groups, both church and non church based, to gather their views.
It is possible to pass suggestions to members of the Vacancy in See Committee via Jonathan Kerry, our Diocesan Secretary, who is secretary to the Committee.

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. This is called the Statement of Needs.
• to elect six diocesan representatives to the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC)

The Committee will meet at least twice. Its discussions will be kept confidential.

The first meeting will be aimed at members getting to know one another and for the committee to elect a deputy chair. At a future meeting, the national Appointment Secretaries will attend to clarify the process and answer any questions members of the Committee might have.
At this meeting the Committee elects the six members to serve on the CNC of which at least three must be lay people. Only one member of the Bishop’s senior staff team may be elected. After the meeting, the Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary briefs the diocesan CNC representatives on the next steps.

The description of the Diocese and the Statement of Needs prepared by the Vacancy in See Committee are considered by the CNC together with feedback from the Appointment Secretaries on the consultation process and information about the needs of the national church. The CNC normally meets twice, and on the second occasion interviews potential candidates.

Who is on these committees?
The Vacancy in See Committees Regulations 1993 requires 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

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.

When the process is completed and the preferred candidate has accepted the nomination, the Sovereign formally nominates him or her to the See. 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.

What is the timescale?
The Vacancy-in-See Committee will meet for the first time on 7th February 2015 and it will need to have completed its part of the work by May 2015, when the two Appointments Secretaries will visit the diocese to consult church and community stakeholders. It is expected that the CNC will consider the vacancy at two meetings in September and October 2015. It is then expected that a new bishop will take up office in the Spring of 2016.

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