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News on Crown Appointments

A note to General Synod members, GS Misc 889, announces the latest appointments that the Government has made in relation to this area of activity. Here’s what it says:

Crown Appointments

1. In February the General Synod decided that the Government should be invited to agree that there should be a continuing and not merely formal, role for a senior civil servant, at the heart of Government in the selection processes for senior Crown appointments in the Church of England. The Synod also decided that it wanted the Government to continue to provide the necessary staff-work to support the Crown’s (including the Lord Chancellor’s) parochial patronage responsibilities.

2. Following discussions with the Archbishops the Prime Minister has invited Mr Paul Britton to be his Appointments Secretary for senior ecclesiastical appointments and his adviser within the senior Civil Service on Church/State relations. Mr Britton, who is an Anglican and lives in the diocese of Rochester, will remain Director General, Domestic Policy Group, Cabinet Office and Head of the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat. He will work with the Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary on the consultations for diocesan bishop appointments and will attend meetings of the Crown Nominations Commission. In relation to Crown appointments to cathedrals he will be assisted by Ms Emma Boggis, another senior civil servant in the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat, who is also an Anglican and will take part in the selection processes for the Crown deaneries. Work on parochial appointments will remain with Mr Nick Wheeler.

3. The Archbishops have welcomed these new arrangements.

William Fittall
Secretary General

Church House
Westminster SW1P 3AZ

June 2008

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Stepping out on a limb here, I fail to understand why the powers that be in the mother church are so terrified of having to govern themselves without the increasingly pro forma guidance of the state.