Thinking Anglicans

progress on Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales

The Diocese of Bradford has announced: ‘Roadmap’ for New Diocese

The Archbishop of York has produced a timetable of key dates for the new diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, in which he has announced that the ‘Appointed Day’ will be Easter 2014. The timetable is available here.

The Appointed Day is when the three Dioceses cease to exist and the new Diocese comes into being, and when the three Diocesan Bishops depart. While arrangements will be put in place to allow us to operate consistently during the transitional period, the Appointed Day itself will not bring any instant changes; these will be gradual over a period of about a year.

Bishop Nick says, “It is good to have a clear road map for all that has to happen between now and the creation of the new diocese. I am confident that this gives the existing dioceses time to prepare properly, but also that there is a clear process for setting up this new and exciting venture. We will need to be both diligent and patient as we now proceed in the months ahead.”

It’s expected that the name of the new Diocesan Bishop will be announced in February and there will be an Acting Bishop between the Appointed Day and the new Bishop taking up his post – probably in the summer.

The Crown Appointments Commission has announced meeting dates for this appointment, 12 November and 9/10 January, and more details of the process can be seen in the roadmap linked above.

See also the Update on New Diocese from the Programme Manager.

There is similar information on the websites of Wakefield diocese and Ripon & Leeds diocese.

Wakefield also has this letter from the Archbishop’s office about the administrative arrangements.

Update Both Ripon & Leeds and Bradford have announced the appointment of John Tuckett as Acting Diocesan Secretary in addition to his existing role as Programme Manager.

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Simon KershawLindsay SouthernRichardAdrian F SunmanEdward Prebble Recent comment authors
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J Drever
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J Drever

If Ripon, Bradford and Wakefield are now doomed, what is to prevent the abolition of, say, Bristol, Guildford (or Southwark), Portsmouth, Rochester (or Canterbury!), Sodor and Man or one of the Lancastrian sees? Since, in Yorkshire, it has just come down to money, how can the continuation of these other pocket dioceses be justified on financial grounds? There is precedent for this sort of bleak territorial utilitarianism. Remember that in the nineteenth century Bristol was merged with Gloucester, Bangor and St Asaph came close to merger, Sodor and Man was very nearly abolished, and Rochester lost all but a toehold… Read more »

peter Ellis
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peter Ellis

I still feel that there should be an area bishop of Halifax/Huddersfield or Huddersfield/Halifax. I realise it’s not as if Halifax is losing its status as a diocesan bishopric but given the extraordinary lengths that the planners have seemingly gone to to accommodate local pride in the new scheme, Halifax seems to have been the major town to miss out. I realise that it shouldn’t matter but this is Yorkshire and we know it does.

Simon Sarmiento
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The plan is to have an Area Bishop for the Western part of the current Wakefield diocese, that is to say broadly the areas of Calderdale and Kirklees in civil government terms. He would be titled Bishop of Huddersfield. The existing Archdeaconry of Halifax will be adjusted to cover the identical area, and retain its current name.

So Halifax loses nothing but Huddersfield gains a bishop’s title.

Chris Routledge
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Chris Routledge

J Drever – I am curious what you mean by “pocket dioceses”. The only definition I have come across is “one contained for the most part within the limits of a single city” (in Gordon Crosse’s biographical sketch of Charles Gore), which hardly fits as a description of Rochester Diocese, being the one named above that I know.

So, I’m interested to hear what you mean by it!

Father David
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Father David

I think that come The Appointed Day (Easter MMXIV) the Northern Province will then be reduced to just 12 dioceses – how Apostolic is that! As so many parishes are now being amalgamated under “Pastoral Reorganisation” (i.e. Cuts) why should dioceses be exempt? Although the Diocese of Chelmsford seems to be heading in another direction. In his Presidential Address to his Synod the Diocesan Bishop floated the idea that “in time” the now seven Archdeacons should perhaps become seven Area Bishops. So it’s not a case in our beloved Established Church of one size fits all.

J Drever
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J Drever

@Chris Routledge: Sorry, I only meant “pocket diocese” in the sense of it being geographically small. Of course, we have nothing in England akin to the tiny dioceses of central/southern Italy or the pre-revolutionary Midi. A diocese like Rochester is as close as we get to that. All I was suggesting is that it seems strange, and somewhat arbitrary, to terminate the existence of dioceses in Yorkshire that are as small, or somewhat larger, than a diocese like Bristol, Portsmouth or Rochester. Presumably, the rationalization that is occurring in Yorkshire is a function of the accelerated decline of the Church,… Read more »

Chris Routledge
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Chris Routledge

Thanks for the clarification, J Drever 🙂

Adrian FSunman
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Adrian FSunman

I feel sorry that Wakefield’s hand was forced as the diocese clearly didn’t want be absorbed into the new super diocese. Also I think the choice of name for the new diocese is unfortunate as it’s disrespectful to the Roman Catholic Bishop of Leeds. It would have been better if Ripon or Bradford had been chosen as the lead name.

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

Adrian FSunman, I really can’t see that any disrespect to the RC bishop of should be read into this scheme. There are already both Anglican and RC bishops/archbishops of Southwark, Birmingham, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and countless other examples around the world. In some cases we were “first”, in others they were. Where is the problem?

Adrian F Sunman
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Adrian F Sunman

Edward, I believe it’s an accepted courtesy that where possible Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops choose different names for their Sees. Apart from anything else, it helps to avoid confusion.

Richard
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Richard

It is, or at least at one time it was, forbidden for a Roman Catholic diocese to take the name of a Church of England diocese.

Lindsay Southern
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Lindsay Southern

Describing the Dioceses involved as ‘terminated’ and ‘doomed’, is both emotive and inaccurate. Certainly they are to be amalgamated and restructured. The motivation behind the changes is not primarily cost cutting, but missional effectiveness. So while I appreciate my diocese very much, including its particularly excellent diocesan bishop, and will be sad to lose some of its particular character, I’m also excited about the potential of its new configuration. To expect change to be fruitful without realising it will also be costly and challenging and potentially risky is unrealistic.

Simon Kershaw
Admin

There is not, I think, any problem with a diocese of another denomination calling itself whatever it wants — but territorial titles of bishops may only legally be borne in the English Church, since the right to grant or assign territorial titles belongs to the Crown.

However, the state no longer imposes any penalties on clergy of other denominations who break the law.