Standing Commission on the House of Bishops’ Declaration and the Five Guiding Principles

01/07/2022

The membership of a new body tasked to consider the ongoing arrangements which opened the way for women to become bishops has been announced.

The Bishop of Lichfield, Michael Ipgrave, will chair the 12-strong Standing Commission on the House of Bishops’ Declaration and the Five Guiding Principles.

Alongside him, the members will include:

  • The Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Revd Jonathan Baker (Diocese of London)
  • The Bishop of Ripon, the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley (Diocese of Leeds)
  • Complementarian Evangelical Bishop – to be vacant upon the retirement of the Bishop of Maidstone in October 2022. During the vacancy the Revd Charlie Skrine (Diocese of London) will represent. 

Clergy

  • The Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes (Diocese of Liverpool)
  • The Revd Canon Tim Goode, (Diocese of Southwark)
  • The Venerable Pete Spiers, (Diocese of Liverpool)
  • The Revd Canon Smitha Prasadam (Diocese in Europe)

Laity

  • Dr Ros Clarke (Diocese of Lichfield)
  • Mrs Emma Joy Gregory (Diocese of Bath and Wells) 
  • Canon Dr Addy Lazz-Onyenobi (Diocese of Manchester)
  • Peter Collier QC (Diocese of York)

Establishing the Standing Commission was a key recommendation of the Implementation and Dialogue Group (IDG), a temporary body which reviewed the arrangements which were originally put in place in 2014, opening the episcopate to women as well as men while ensuring provision for those who, in theological conscience, could not accept their ministry.

More detail was set out in the IDG’s report to General Synod last year

The Commission, appointed by the House of Bishops, will support dioceses with the monitoring of the implementation of the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests.

Published ahead of the historic vote of the General Synod on women in the episcopate in July 2014, the Declaration sets out five guiding principles under which those in favour of the ordination of women and those who, on theological grounds, cannot fully accept the ordained ministry of women, can both flourish.
 

Notes

The role of the Standing Commission will include:

  • To receive and disseminate good practice in relation to the implementation of the House of Bishops Declaration at all levels within the Church;
  • To consider how effectively the Declaration, including the Five Guiding Principles, is being promoted throughout the Church;
  • To receive and comment on reports published by the Independent Reviewer; and,
  • To provide an annual report to the House of Bishops.

Members have been chosen by the House of Bishops, in consultation with the Prolocutors of the House of Clergy and the Chair and Vice Chair of the House of Laity, because of their experience and varying backgrounds.

The membership has been carefully balanced to ensure there is fair representation of theological viewpoints and a commitment from all to the Five Guiding Principles and mutual flourishing.

The Standing Commission will hold its first meeting in July, with the intention of a further meeting in the late summer/early autumn to consider its next steps and aims for its first year as a body.