The earlier Green Paper was reported here.
What this week’s White Paper (full document as PDF here) said on Church of England Appointments:
254. The Government proposed in The Governance of Britain that the Prime Minister’s role in ecclesiastical appointments in the Church of England should be significantly reduced.At present,he receives two names from the Crown Nominations Commission for appointment as new Diocesan Bishops. In future, he will ask for only one name which he will then forward to Her Majesty The Queen. The Government undertook to discuss with the Church any necessary consequential changes to procedures.This discussion also considered the role of the Prime Minister and of his Appointments Secretary in the appointments process for cathedral deans, where the Appointments Secretary was responsible for conducting the appointments process and making the final recommendations, and some other senior appointments in the Church.
255. Following an internal consultation exercise, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York put proposals to the meeting of the General Synod in February 2008. Synod approved the proposed modifications to the appointments process.They called for a continuing role for a senior civil servant at the heart of Government to help in ensuring that the wider needs of the church and of the community continued to be given adequate weight in the appointments process. However, they agreed that in future the decisive voice in all appointments would be that of the Church itself. In relation to diocesan bishops, the Crown Nominations Commission would continue itself to select two names – a preferred name and a reserve – but would forward to the Prime Minister only the preferred name. In relation to appointments to Cathedral Deaneries, there would in future be a selection panel chaired by a layperson selected by the archbishop of the province after consultation with the diocesan bishop and the proposed Crown appointments adviser. It was proposed that the Government would continue to provide administrative support for the process of appointments to Crown parochial livings (in the same way as, for example, where a bishop has the right of presentation the church authorities would provide support to the parish in the process). The Government is discussing with the Church future long-term arrangements within government in the light of the Synod’s decisions.
256. The changes to the appointments processes for Diocesan Bishops and Cathedral Deans are internal Church procedures and require no legislation. The Church will itself legislate by Measure for a number of consequential changes. These are to remove the requirement for two names to be forwarded for appointment to Suffragan Bishoprics (a requirement of a 1534 Act); to bring crown parochial appointments into line with all others by allowing the parish representatives a right of veto; and to remove the right of the Crown to appoint to certain positions which have become vacant through the preferment of the incumbent to a diocesan bishopric, or where there is a vacancy in the episcopal see which would normally have the right of appointment.
In connection with the above, the Lord Chancellor said this in the House of Commons:
Appointments to the Church of England: the Government remain committed to the establishment of the Church of England, and greatly value the role played by the church in our national life. Appointments to senior church positions will continue to be made by Her Majesty the Queen, who should continue to be advised on the exercise of her powers of appointment by one of her Ministers, who will usually be the Prime Minister. We are very grateful to the General Synod for its proposals on how new appointments procedures should work and the Government are discussing with the church future long-term arrangements.