Updated Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening
The final version of the proposal to replace the dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds, and Wakefield by a new diocese of Leeds (or West Yorkshire and the Dales) was discussed by the three diocesan synods this morning.
Bradford voted in favour.
Voting: 90 for, 4 against, no abstentions
Ripon & Leeds voted in favour.
Voting: 70 for, 18 against, 2 abstentions
Wakefield voted against.
Voting: 40 for, 76 against, 4 abstentions
The Church of England quickly issued this press release after the votes.
Results of vote on new single diocese for West Yorkshire
02 March 2013
Bradford and Ripon & Leeds dioceses today voted in favour of a scheme from the Dioceses Commission to reorganise Church of England structures in West Yorkshire and the Dales. Wakefield diocese rejected the scheme.
The neighbouring dioceses of Blackburn and Sheffield receiving six and two parishes respectively from the area of the proposed new single diocese also need to vote on the scheme: Sheffield gave its consent on 16 February; Blackburn votes on 13 April.
The overall proposal is to replace the existing dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield and create a new single one.
Now consent has not been given by at least one of the dioceses, it is up to the Archbishop of York to decide whether to allow the scheme to go forward for debate at General Synod (possibly in July). This could happen if he is satisfied either that
(a) the interest of the diocese is so small that the withholding of consent should not prevent the scheme being submitted to the General Synod; or
(b) there are wider considerations affecting the province or the Church of England as a whole which require the scheme to be submitted to the General Synod.
The Archbishop won’t be in a position to announce his decision until after Blackburn diocese’s vote is known in mid-April.
Speaking today after the votes, Chair of the Commission, Professor Michael Clarke said: ‘It is good to know that the Dioceses of Bradford and Ripon & Leeds support the Commission’s proposals. Looking at the voting in Wakefield, there is significant support there, even though the vote was lost.. The process, however, continues. Blackburn votes next month. It will then be for the Archbishop of York to decide how to take this forward.’
The three diocese have also issued their own press releases.
The Radio Leeds Johnny I’Anson programme gave extensive coverage at intervals to this story this morning. This included interviews with Nick Baines, the Bishop of Bradford, (starting at 1 hour 9 minutes) and Stephen Platten, the Bishop of Wakefield, (starting at 2 hours 7 minutes).