Comments: Next Bishop of Tewkesbury to be Robert Springett

Prayers assured for Ven Robert Springett! He is a nice man

Posted by Chuchu Nwagu at Monday, 25 July 2016 at 11:34pm BST

As a member of the ‘Crown Nominations Commission’ [Springett] was one of the representatives the charged with making [Treweek's] appointment.


Outside the church, this would be downright bizarre, wouldn't it?

Posted by DBD at Monday, 25 July 2016 at 11:52pm BST

'As a member of the ‘Crown Nominations Commission’ [Springett] was one of the representatives the charged with making [Treweek's] appointment.
Outside the church, this would be downright bizarre, wouldn't it?'

Not in a world where consultation with the workforce is encouraged and quite often potential colleagues (and subordinates) are involved in the selection process - in fact in my experience (in more than one company) it was quite normal for someone you manage or oversee to have been involved in your appointment.

Posted by NJW at Tuesday, 26 July 2016 at 10:18am BST

The composition of the diocesan representatives elected by and from the vacancy-in-see committee of the diocese does get discussed from time to time. The situation with the bishop's senior staff team (suffragan bishop, assistant bishop, archdeacon and dean of the cathedral) is that only one of their number may be elected to the CNC, a comparatively recent change. DBD seems to be suggesting that no-one should be a member of the Commission if they themselves (in secular parlance) might end up 'reporting' to the new bishop, on the basis that you should not choose your own boss. The fact is that senior staff team members do have much to bring to the workings of the Commission, particularly in terms of the needs of the diocese, and, with only one of them capable of being a member (with only their one vote), their presence can hardly be considered a conflict. I know neither Bishop Rachel nor Bishop-elect Robert, but it seems clear that he was considered the best candidate for the post having been seen 'in action' so-to-speak since the new bishop arrived in the diocese. It is very positive for clergy to see appointments to suffragan sees being made from within a diocese. The process is now very rigorous and transparent. Gone are the days when these posts were filled by bringing in 'friends' from other dioceses!

Posted by Anthony Archer at Tuesday, 26 July 2016 at 1:28pm BST

Anthony you write a great deal of sense but I am not sure how many people would agree with you that the process is particularly transparent.

Posted by Kate at Tuesday, 26 July 2016 at 3:12pm BST

Thank you Kate. How long have you got? I have spent much of my career advising on appointments and also being a thorn in the side of bishops who might not, shall we say, have proper regard for process! My Private Member's Motion at General Synod in 2005 led to the first Pilling Review, Talent and Calling, and resulted in some improvements to the system. The starting point of course is that appointments to suffragan sees remain Crown appointments under the Suffragan Bishops Act 1534! However, the convention for over 100 years has been that the Church makes the appointment (or at least the diocesan bishop concerned does) and he or she then has to secure the support of the relevant Archbishop for the nomination to be forwarded to Downing Street. By transparent I mean transparent as to process and transparent as far as the candidates are concerned, for it is clergy in particular who deserve to know and have confidence in the system generally. The process is documented at https://www.churchofengland.org/media/1321282/appointment_process_for_suffragan_bishops.pdf It might be time for there to be a review of some of these appointments to check that the bishops are actually behaving themselves but it doesn't look to me as though this appointment to the See of Tewkesbury is anything other than an entirely proper and good one!

Posted by Anthony Archer at Tuesday, 26 July 2016 at 6:12pm BST

One would hope the new PM would know the difference between the plural and possessive form of church. Out of interest, is there an Anglican position on when 'The Church' should be capitalised?

Posted by Stephen at Tuesday, 26 July 2016 at 9:49pm BST

Stephen: also, "on his translation to the See of Leicester resignation on the 22 February 2016." Translation or resignation? It would seem that there has been some "cutting and pasting" from an earlier announcement in the PM's office, but not enough cutting!

Posted by David Lamming at Tuesday, 26 July 2016 at 11:09pm BST

Stephen: also, "on his translation to the See of Leicester resignation on the 22 February 2016." Translation or resignation? It would seem that there has been some "cutting and pasting" from an earlier announcement in the PM's office, but not enough cutting!

Posted by David Lamming at Wednesday, 27 July 2016 at 7:46am BST

Anthony, thank you - someone needs to be a thorn in the side. I would still argue that the process is structured but not transparent.

For instance there seems to be little transparency in terms of reasons for long-listing. At a minimum every candidate not long-listed should be told in writing which aspects of the person or role description they don't meet.

For shortlisting, there should be a formal scoring system and unsuccessful candidates should be given their score sheet and told the threshold score for interview.

Both of these would also allow aspiring candidates to consider their personal development.

Next, in terms of diversity if someone from each non-religious protected characteristic is not long-listed then the bishop should be required to publish a justification. At the end, the diversity profile of each stage should be published as part of the announcement.

Likewise, how the panel is selected lacks transparency.


So for me the two big gaps are that the written procedure should mandate detailed feedback to unsuccessful candidates, diversity statistics should be published and any lack of diversity justified, and, but less importantly, the process for selecting the panel should be clearer.

Just my thoughts.

Posted by Kate at Thursday, 28 July 2016 at 1:37pm BST
Post a comment









Remember personal info?






Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.