Membership of the Crown Nominations Commission
The current Central Members of the Commission started their service in September 2017. Each CNC consists of the Presidents ex-officio of General Synod; three members elected by and from the House of Clergy of General Synod; three members elected by and from the House of Laity of General Synod; and six members elected by the Vacancy in See Committee of the diocese in which, in addition to these fourteen voting members, there are two non-voting members – the Prime Minister’s Secretary for Appointments ex officio; and the Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments ex-officio. The full membership of the CNC has a broad reach across the Church.
Archbishop of Canterbury. The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby.
Born in London, Justin Welby studied history and law at Trinity College, Cambridge. For 11 years – five in Paris and six in London – he worked in the oil industry, becoming group treasurer of a large British exploration and production company. A major influence both on Justin and his wife Caroline was their experience of personal tragedy. In 1983 their seven-month-old daughter died in a car crash in France. Six years later in 1989, after sensing a call from God, Justin stood down from industry to train for ordination at St John’s College, Durham. After being ordained Deacon in 1992, he spent 15 years serving Coventry Diocese. In 2002 he was made a Canon of Coventry Cathedral, where he ran the reconciliation work based there. During this time he worked extensively in Africa and the Middle East and in 2006 he was appointed Priest-In-Charge of Holy Trinity Coventry. He was appointed Dean of Liverpool in 2007, Bishop of Durham In 2011 and Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of England and Metropolitan, in 2013. Archbishop Justin maintains a strong interest in finance and ethics joining the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards in 2012, and has lectured on reconciliation at the US State Department. His interests include French culture, sailing and politics and is married to Caroline, with whom he has two sons and three daughters.
Archbishop of York. The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Stephen Cottrell (July 2020 onwards).
Stephen Cottrell is the Archbishop of York, and has previously served as the Bishop of Chelmsford, Bishop of Reading, Canon Pastor at Peterborough Cathedral and Diocesan Missioner for the Diocese of Wakefield. He served in parishes in South London and Chichester. He is a member of the Church of England’s Committee for Minority Ethnic Concerns, and Chair of Church Army, an Anglican society for evangelism and social outreach. He is a member of the House of Lords. He is a well-known writer and speaker on evangelism, spirituality and catechesis. His latest book, On Priesthood, is based on addresses given to ordinands on the night before ordination. He is married to Rebecca who is a potter, and they have three sons and one grandson.
Archbishop of York. The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu (until May 2020).
John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu was born into Uganda's Buffalo Clan. After graduating in Law, he practised both at the Bar and at the Bench before he came to the UK in 1974. He read theology at Selwyn College Cambridge and trained for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. Following his ordination, Dr John Sentamu served as Assistant Chaplain at Selwyn College, Cambridge; Chaplain at HM Remand Centre Latchmere House; Vicar of the joint benefice of Holy Trinity and St Matthias; Priest-in-Charge of St Saviour Brixton Hill; Bishop for Stepney in 1996, Bishop for Birmingham in 2002 and Archbishop of York in 2005. He is Primate of England and Metropolitan, a member of the House of Lords and a Privy Councillor. He is married to Margaret and they are grandparents, with two grown-up children and two grown-up foster children. His term on the CNC finished in June 2020.
The Revd John Dunnett (Chelmsford)
John Dunnett was brought up in Stoke on Trent and Birmingham, the eldest of six children in a clergy family. After reading geography at university he trained as a probation officer in Oxford and London. Following a call to ordained ministry and theological training at Trinity Bristol, he was in parish ministry in Yorkshire and Essex for 18 years until 2006 when he was appointed General Director of CPAS. He is currently Chair of the Evangelical Group on General Synod and a member of the Church of England Evangelical Council. His ministerial passion is leadership development in the local church. He plays hockey in the Essex league (but getting slower), is a fan of ‘Homeland’ and ‘Shooter’, and has a secret ambition to own a car ‘lift’ to enable him to service cars more easily!
The Very Revd Dr David Ison (Dean of St Paul’s)
After university in Leicester and theological college in Nottingham, David did a curacy and part-time PhD in inner-city S.E. London, before becoming a tutor at the Church Army training college and then vicar of an outer housing estate in north Coventry. In 1993 he moved to Devon to lead in-service development for clergy and became a diocesan canon at Exeter Cathedral, moving in 2005 to be Dean of Bradford with the task of rebuilding the Cathedral’s ministry and mission. He became Dean of St Paul's in May 2012, helping the cathedral in its governance and mission. He has been on Synod since 2010, joining the CNC in 2017, and was a founding trustee of the Ozanne Foundation in 2018. In Bradford, he became chair of the local authority standards committee and was co-opted by the Corporation of the City of London onto its standards committee in 2020. He is married to Hilary, also a priest, and they have four children and several grandchildren.
The Revd Canon Dr Judith Maltby (Universities & TEIs)
Judith was born and brought up in the American Episcopal Church and educated in the state sector through her first degree. She came to England to undertake doctoral studies in Cambridge on the laity’s engagement with the Book of Common Prayer in the century after the Reformation and her academic publications are chiefly in the area of the history, theology and literary culture of Anglicanism in the 16/17th and 20th centuries. After doctoral work, she worked in theological education, trained on SDMTS (as was) and was an NSM in a Wiltshire parish, for some time before moving to be Chaplain and Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Judith was ordained priest in 1994. She is Reader in Church History in the University of Oxford. As a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, she is also a charitable trustee of the college. She continues to be committed to formation and training issues in the Church, having served on Ministry Council, a stint as a selector and is currently involved with inspections/reviews of TEIs and chair of MinDiv’s Research Degrees Panel.
Mr Anthony Archer (St Albans)
Anthony Archer is a Reader in the Diocese of St Albans. He served on the General Synod for the diocese between 1993- 2010, stepping down for the 2010-2015 quinquennium, in part to make time to be a Reader-in-Training. He was licensed in 2013 to the Berkhamsted Team Ministry. He was elected to General Synod again in 2015 and served as a member of the Dioceses Commission between 2016-2018. He was elected a central member of the Crown Nominations Commission in 2017. His primary interests on the General Synod are mission and ministry. He has served on the Advisory Board for Ministry (the predecessor body to Ministry Division), the Appointments Committee of the Church of England, and the Panel of Chairs. He was a Council Member of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford from 2001-2011 and chaired its Nominations Committee. He has spent the greater part of his career in the executive recruitment industry and continues to advise clients on senior appointments and governance, principally in the charity sector. He is a Trustee of the Ozanne Foundation and a former Governor of the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. He is a chartered accountant and holds a law degree from the University of Birmingham.
Ms Christina Baron (Bath & Wells)
Retired university lecturer, Bath and previously SOAS, teaching British History and British Studies for overseas students. Has chaired two NHS trusts and been a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Currently an interviewer with the Judicial Appointments Commission and a tribunal member with the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service. Christina lives in Wells and is a former (youngest) mayor of the city. Married to a former churchwarden; three adult offspring.
Miss Jane Patterson (Sheffield)
Born & raised in Liverpool, soon after graduation Jane moved to Sheffield, where she has lived for 30 years. She is a member of Christ Church Fulwood and is currently serving as a churchwarden. Jane also serves as a trustee of 1 independent Anglican church with which it has links. Elected to General Synod in 2010 Jane has represented Synod on the governing body of Cranmer Hall and has been a central member of the Crown Nominations Commission since 2012. Professionally Jane works as an NHS consultant surgeon at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & has an interest in medical education. She has been a member of a book club since before it became fashionable and also enjoys being in if not resting in her garden.
Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments
Mr Stephen Knott (2022 onwards)
Stephen Knott grew up in Northern Ireland, studing Geography at Queen's University Belfast, before spending a few years managin his parents' business. In 2001, he moved to London where he spent over a decade working as a researcher in the House of Commons, managing the Westminster office supporting several Members of Parliament. During that time, he joined the Royal Navy, juggling a busy civilian job with one as a Naval Reservist. In 2013, Stephen joined the Lambeth Palace staff team and has held numerous roles, including Assistant and then Deputy Chief of Staff from 2016 to 2021. His work at Lambeth Palace has focused on the operational functions of the Palace, with particular emphasis on human resources and recruitment.
Prime Minister’s Secretary for Appointments
Mr Richard Tilbrook (2020 onwards)
Richard Tilbrook was born in Surrey in 1962 and attended the Royal Grammar School in Guildford. He read Classics at Cambridge University and joined GCHQ on graduating in 1983. After more than a decade working in Cheltenham, he joined the Department for International Development, where he oversaw the UK aid programmes in the Ukraine, Afghanistan and Burma among other countries. He later transferred to the Cabinet Office, initially to support the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee and then to oversee the UK honours system. He has been Clerk of the Privy Council since 2012, a role he has combined with that of Prime Minister's Deputy Appointments Secretary, initially focusing on senior state appointments (mostly Lord-Lieutenants) but also covering senior appointments in the church alongside Edward Chaplin. Richard was appointed Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary in 2020.
Mr Edward Chaplin, CMG, OBE (2017 – 2019)
Edward Chaplin was born in Hatfield in 1951 and grew up in Baghdad and Jersey. After reading Arabic and Persian at Cambridge University, he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1973. He spent most of his diplomatic career dealing with Middle East issues, including as Ambassador to Jordan (2000-02), Middle East Director (2002-04) and Ambassador to Iraq (2004-05), with a final posting as Ambassador to Italy (2006-11). Edward was appointed Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary in 2013 and held this post until December 2019.
Over the lifetime of the Commission, there have been a number of occasions where an Archbishop or Central Member has had a temporary replacement, a deputy, for an appointment process. The process to appoint a deputy for a Central member of the Commission can be found in Standing Order 140 (9) of The General Synod of the Church of England Standing Orders (GS 2010D). A deputy is nominated by either the Chair of the House of Clergy or Laity, depending on which Central member is to be replaced. If an Archbishop is unable to be present at a meeting of the Commission, that Archbishop may nominate a member of the House of Bishops from their Province as a deputy with full voting rights (Standing Order 137 (5)). Deputies have been nominated for the following appointment processes.
- The Very Revd Dr David Ison replaced by The Revd Canon Dr Rosemarie Mallett (Southwark)
Miss Jane Patterson replaced by Mrs Chris Fry (Winchester)
The Revd John Dunnett replaced by The Revd Dr Philip Plyming (Universities and TEIs)
The Archbishop of York replaced by the Bishop of Sheffield
Miss Jane Paterson replaced by Mrs Chris Fry (Winchester)
The Revd John Dunnett replaced by The Ven Martyn Taylor (Lincoln)
- The Archbishop of York replaced by the Bishop of Carlisle
- The Revd Canon Dr Judith Maltby replaced by The Revd Dr Anderson Jeremiah (Universities and TEIs)
Mr Richard Tilbrook served as the Prime Minister’s Secretary for Appointments during the CNCs for the vacancies in the Sees of Truro and Hereford. Mr Brad Cook served as the Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments during the vacancy in the See of Derby.
The Archbishops and the six Central Members have been joined by 54 Diocesan representatives between 2017-March 2020.
- The Rt Revd Dame Sarah Mullally
- The Very Revd Vivienne Faull
- The Revd Canon Philip Mounstephen
- The Rt Revd Libby Lane
- The Rt Revd Graham Usher
- The Revd Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin
- The Rt Revd Richard Jackson
- The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell
- The Rt Revd Mark Tanner
*The Archbishop of Canterbury asked the CNC to support them in their nomination to the See of Dover (2019). This was a full CNC process with the exception that any voting would be advisory, not determinative.
The process for the nomination of a Diocesan Bishop is set within the framework of the Vacancy in See Committees Regulation 1993 as amended and Standing Orders 136 – 141.
Determining the needs
The CNC draws together the role profile and person specification for the new bishop in the light of a number of documents, including:
- the Diocesan Statement of Needs (prepared by the diocese’s Vacancy in See Committee),
- the Appointments Secretaries’ Memorandum (prepared by the Archbishops’ and Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretaries) following consultations in the diocese and across the wider church
- statistical information about the diocese
- reflections from the Archbishops and information on the wider national and world context.
A draft document is prepared prior to the first meeting of the CNC to enable members to ponder suitable candidates in the light of the requirements identified.
Members of the CNC are in effect search agents, using their own knowledge of people and the church. All members of the CNC complete Unconscious Bias training to help them fairly evaluate the information they have on candidates. They use the names that have been submitted by members of the public during consultations, through the public announcement or through their own conversations as a guide as well as the names of those who have been identified as ready to undertake episcopal ministry.
The Archbishop in the chair finalises the list following an iterative discussion amongst the CNC members.
A typical longlist includes about 8 – 12 names. Candidates provide a Register of Ministers Form (a CV document), a personal statement, and four references. Members use these documents to shortlist candidates against the criteria agreed. The subsequent exploration at the first meeting of the CNC enables members to ponder and discern the candidates they wish to invite to interview.
Typically four candidates are interviewed. Confidential briefing meetings are arranged with a small number of people in the diocese to give candidates the opportunity to find out more about the diocese. These conversations are not part of the decision-making process. Psychometric profiling provides additional information on the candidates, alongside the paperwork mentioned above. All candidates are asked questions on safeguarding and unsatisfactory answers in this area mean that a candidate will not be appointed.
The Discerning in Obedience report reminds us of the importance of picking up “clues...into what God might intend to do through this or that person in his or that place”. Again, the discussion of each candidate in the light of their interview and the written information enables members to discern who they feel God is calling to be the next bishop of the diocese.
Identifying the candidate
The CNC has to identify one candidate with a two-thirds majority of the CNC’s voting members in a secret ballot to nominate to the Crown via the Prime Minister. The CNC may decide to offer a second name in case the first is unable to take up the role. This second name would also need the support of two-thirds of the voting members.
Following the approval of Her Majesty the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister, the announcement of the new Bishop is made by No 10 Downing St.
- House of Clergy
The House of Clergy is made up of the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury and the Lower House of the Convocation of York joined into one House. It consists of clergy (other than bishops) who have been elected, appointed or chosen in accordance with Canon H 2 and the rules made under it (including deans, proctors from the dioceses, forces and university constituencies, and clerical members of religious communities) together with ex officio members and up to five co-opted members.
- House of Bishops
A body made up of all Diocesan bishops ( as well as The Bishop of Dover who performs many of the Archbishop of Canterbury's diocesan functions); the Bishop to the Forces; seven suffragan bishops elected from among the total number of suffragan bishops and 8 regional representatives elected by and from senior women clergy.
- House of Laity
The House of Laity consists of members from each diocese of the two Provinces elected by lay members of the deanery synods (or annual meetings of the chaplaincies in the case of the Diocese in Europe) or chosen by and from the lay members of religious communities, together with ex officio members.
- General Synod
The 'Parliament' of the Church of England. The General Synod usually meets twice a year to debate and discuss matters of interest and to consider and approve amendments to Church legislation.
- Vacancy in See Committee
A Vacancy in See Committee is required to be in existence at all times in every diocese, but it only meets when there is a vacancy in the See. It has two roles: to prepare a brief description of the diocese and a statement setting out the desired profile of the new Bishop, and to elect the diocesan representatives to the Crown Nominations Commission.