Senior Appointments


The selection of people to hold senior office within the Church is a process of discernment of vocation to a particular ministry. Those engaged in ascertaining whether someone is, or is not, the right person to be a Suffragan Bishop, Dean, Archdeacon or Residentiary Canon are exercising this responsibility on behalf of the wider Church. They are seeking not only competence in doing a job but are charged to recognise that God is calling someone to a specific ministry in this place and at this time. In the case of a Suffragan Bishop, this obviously involves discernment of a call to ordination as a bishop in the Church of God.

The aim of the guidelines provided for each senior appointment is to ensure that the process of discernment is underpinned by a selection framework which incorporates best practice methods and aspirations. The documents set out common national standards and, as with any such document, there may be cases where the detail of provisions might need to be varied according to local circumstances. They are designed to make recruitment as transparent, fair and consistent as possible as well as open to the Holy Spirit. The structure they provide should assist all involved in appointments in making more informed decisions. Candidates who are being considered for senior office are engaged in the deeply personal experience of examining their own calling whilst having it tested by the Church. It is hoped that these guidelines will also provide the support and clarity they need.

These guidelines replace the Senior Church Appointments Code of Practice (GS Misc 455, 1995). They are based on the report Talent and Calling (GS1650, 2007), which recommended that:

'The Church adopts an integrated and consistent method for making of appointments to senior ecclesiastical office and that all appointments are transparent and encourage the confidence of the Church in the procedures'.

The recommendations of Talent and Calling were endorsed by the General Synod, and these guidelines give effect to them.

We hope you will find the guidelines beneficial and practical to use. The House of Bishops will continue to keep these processes under review.

The arrangements for Senior Appointments within the Diocese in Europe are regulated by the Constitution of the Diocese in Europe.

++ Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury

++ Sentamu, Archbishop of York