The consultation started on 11 May and finishes on 4 July. Inevitably because of the current situation, everybody is strongly encouraged to make their contribution to the consultation on line.
So far a group called the “Vacancy in See” committee has been meeting to map out the process. This is now working particularly through two smaller groups, one of which is handling the consultation process and he other is responsible for writing the “Statement of Needs”, which is produced in response to what people have said in the consultation.
The Statement of Needs contains a whole range of information about the diocese and the region as a whole. There are facts and figures; key areas of ministry for the new Bishop; and a real profile of the gifts and skills we are looking for in the next Bishop of Chelmsford.
A wide range of people and organisations are invited to contribute to the consultation and the Cathedral Chapter will be submitting a corporate response on behalf of the Cathedral. But everyone who wants to and feels they have something to say is warmly encouraged to have their say.
You do this by visiting https://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/ (the Diocesan Website). You will see that it says on the front page “Help identify the next Bishop of Chelmsford”. Click on the button ”Find out more” and that will take you to the whole range of information and resources.
From 11 May, that is where you will find the consultation and information about how to respond. A series of questions are there to help you think this through and respond – and what you say will have an important role in what finally gets included in the Statement of Needs.
And what happens after that? The process moves on to the national level. Six representatives from the Diocese are elected by the Vacancy in See committee to join a national body called the Crown Nominations Commission. This is the body that will interview and select the new Bishop. Alongside our representatives from Chelmsford Diocese, the Commission is made up of both Archbishops, and a range of clergy and lay people elected from the national church along with the Archbishop’s appointments secretary and the Prime Minister’s appointments secretary.
The Commission should be meeting in the late autumn this year and that should mean we know who the new Bishop is to be early in 2021.
This is an important process and do make sure that your voice is heard.
Please pray for:
- The life of our great and diverse diocese, and for all the communities we seek to serve from Clacton-on-Sea to Canning Town; from Southend to Saffron Walden
- For a deepening of our love for God and of our service in God’s world - For our church communities and all the places where God’s people gather
- For God’s provision and care for all those responsible for calling the 11th Bishop of Chelmsford
- For those God is preparing to respond to that call.
God of provision and care, discernment and knowledge:
lead us in your love, empower us by your Spirit,
and equip us with your gifts;
give us hearts full of love for all people,
minds open to the signs of the times,
and wisdom to know how to respond
to the voice of your calling.
We ask this through him who’s coming is certain,
whose day draws near,
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.