Saturday, 29 January 2005

senior church appointments

Update 11 February
Anthony Archer has an article in the Church of England Newspaper
Bringing the appointments system home

Update 4 February
The Church Times has a report on this subject Let us vet new bishops, says Synod member

The General Synod is scheduled to debate this private member’s motion sometime after 2.30 pm on Thursday 17 February. It has been given some prominence in the official press release about the forthcoming session, which says:

Senior Church Appointments

This private member’s motion from Mr Anthony Archer seeks to ask the Archbishops’ Council to set up a working party to undertake a wide-ranging review of the offices of suffragan bishop, deacon, archdeacon and residentiary canon, and the law and practice regarding appointments to these offices. In doing so, the motion proposes that the Church should adopt an integrated, consistent and transparent method of making appointments to senior ecclesiastical offices.

The wording of the motion has been published here.

The briefing note numbered GS Misc 765A prepared by the member concerned, Mr Anthony Archer, is available here in RTF, but is more accessible here as a web page.

The background note numbered GS Misc 765B prepared by William Fittall Secretary-General, is similarly available here and accessible here.

The printed version of this also reprints the text of GS Misc 455 Code of Practice for Senior Church Appointments issued in 1995 which is not available electronically from the CofE website, but is accessible here.

Other documents have been issued by the Secretary General in connection with this motion:

GS 1405 Working with the Spirit: Choosing Diocesan Bishops - the Perry Report published in 2001 (as a PDF file about 0.5 Mb)

(no number) Briefing for members of Vacancy-in-See Committees (RTF format) - accessible copy here

GS Misc 770 CHOOSING DIOCESAN BISHOPS A report on progress on the implementation of the Report of the Steering Group appointed to follow up the recommendations of “Working with the Spirit” - this is not yet on the CofE website, but is accessible here.

We are also promised, in GS Misc 770, an electronic copy of GS 1465 “Choosing Diocesan Bishops. The Report of the Steering Group appointed to follow up the recommendations of Working with the Spirit”, but neither this, nor new paper copies of it have appeared yet.

Last July questions were asked about appointment of deans and the BBC carried an interview with Anthony Archer and others.

And finally, for the moment, Mr Archer has prepared a note for his colleagues on EGGS, which he has given TA permission to publish. It can be found here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 29 January 2005 at 4:34pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod
Comments

Anthony Archer writes in GS Misc 765A: 'It is inexplicable that a cathedral council and chapter of an historic cathedral has no say whatever in the appointment of a dean ... What PCC would accept the nomination of an incumbent without knowledge of his or her identity?'

As a member of a cathedral council I agree with the sentiment that the Council should have a very much greater say in the appointment of the cathedral dean. However, the comparison with PCCs is unhelpful -- the PCC does not have any veto over the appointment of an incumbent, with or without knowledge of their identity.

Archer also writes: 'What is clear is that the diocesan is unable to consult over names (except presumably with the primate of his province), which makes his role in the process unnecessarily difficult.'

I had thought that the Bishop of St Albans had a leading role in the recent appointment of Jeffrey John as Dean of St Albans. Perhaps this was a result of the unique position of Dean of St Albans (the deanery being in the gift of the Crown, but held with the incumbent which is in the gift of the bishop).

Posted by: Simon Kershaw on Monday, 31 January 2005 at 5:24pm GMT