MORE than one thousand people take part in consultation to help identify the next Bishop of Chelmsford
A public consultation held by the Diocese of Chelmsford enabled over one thousand people to share their views to help identify the next Bishop of Chelmsford.
The consultation asked people what they value most about the Church of England in Essex and East London, the challenges and opportunities the new Bishop will face and the qualities the 11th Bishop of Chelmsford will need to bring to the role, particularly as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
There was a huge response with over one thousand submissions received from churches, individuals and other community groups across Essex and East London. More than one hundred responses came from young people who completed a specially designed survey for primary aged children and those who gave their views through consultation activities in schools and church youth groups.
Much of the engagement was online with many people completing online surveys or taking part in consultation activities organised by churches, such as video meetings. Many church leaders also contacted those in their congregations without internet access to ensure their views were included in church submissions.
Responses from the consultation will be used by the Chelmsford Diocese Vacancy in See Committee – the group that manages and oversees the Diocese’s role in the process – to prepare the Diocesan StatementofNeeds. ThisdocumentwilldescribetheDioceseandtheroleofthenextBishopto potential candidates.
Alongside the consultation, the Diocese hosted a public meeting with the Appointment Secretary for the Prime Minister and the Appointment Secretary for the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. The meeting was the first of its kind to be held on Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic and provided an opportunity for people from across the communities of East London and Essex, from within the Church of England and beyond to share their views.
Crown Nominations Commission Representatives elected
The Vacancy in See Committee have also elected six of its members onto the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC), the national body that will interview candidates and ultimately nominate someone to be the next Bishop of Chelmsford. This election took place on Tuesday 30 June and the following representatives were elected.
• The Venerable Elwin Cockett
• Canon Robert Hammond
• The Reverend Canon Paul Harcourt
• Canon Christine Horton
• Mr Evans Ofoajoku
• Mrs Michelle T ackie
The CNC will make their nomination to the Prime Minister who, if he accepts will advise Her Majesty the Queen, who will formally appoint the next Bishop of Chelmsford.
The CNC representatives are encouraging people to get in touch to share their views as well as to suggest potential candidates for the role. You can contact the CNC representatives by emailing email@example.com.
Canon Robert Hammond, one of the elected members to the Crown Nominations Commission and Chair of the Vacancy in See Committee says:
“We are delighted with the response to the Diocesan consultation. Chelmsford Diocese is so diverse covering the five East London Boroughs and Essex – serving urban, coastal and rural communities. Gathering such a wide range of responses is immensely helpful to the Crown Nomination Committee as we start to discern who God is calling to be the eleventh Bishop of Chelmsford. Thank you to everyone who took part”
The process of identifying the next Bishop of Chelmsford began after The Right Revd Stephen Cottrell left the role in April. Bishop Stephen will formally become the Archbishop of York on Thursday 9 June. The service will be broadcast via a livestream video due to the Covid-19 restrictions.