Senior appointments

Archbishops' message

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      +Stephen, Archbishop of York

Diocesan Bishops


Forthcoming Vacant Sees

Nomination and appointment process

The nomination and appointment of a Diocesan Bishop is through the Crown Nominations Commission. They meet at least twice per Vacancy in See.

The process for choosing a Diocesan Bishop begins in the diocese; however, because of the variety of the roles which diocesan bishops have - not only within the Church of England but also locally and nationally - the choice is not made by representatives of the diocese alone.

Diocesan representatives work alongside representatives of the Church of England as a whole, under the presidence of the Archbishops. The Sovereign (advised by the Prime Minister) makes the final appointment to the vacant see.



The process for the nomination of the 98th Archbishop of York

CNC General Synod Amendments to Standing Orders, Updated July 2019

CNC Membership 2014 onwards

Discerning in Obedience (Report on the Review of the CNC) GS Misc 1171, September 2017

Discerning in Obedience GS 2080, 2018

Review of Nomination to the See of Sheffield - Report, Sir Philip Mawer, September 2017

Review of Nomination to the See of Sheffield - Appendices, Sir Philip Mawer, September 2017

GS Misc 1044 (Revised)

Archbishops' Guidelines on the Implementation of 'Choosing Bishops - the Equality Act 2010 (revised)' GS Misc 1044 Choosing Bishops - The Equality Act

Report on the Crown Nominations Commission's electoral procedures, Iain McLean, July 2014

Vacancy in See Committee Regulations (amended July 2021)


Suffragan Bishops

Forthcoming vacant sees

  • Beverley
  • Croydon
  • Hull
  • Kirkstall
  • Penrith
  • Plymouth

Nomination and appointment process

The nomination and appointment of Suffragan Bishops is made through the Diocesan Bishop, supported by a Bishop's Advisory Group. Further information on the processes involved in nominating and appointing Suffragan Bishops are below.


Nomination Process for Suffragan Bishops

Overview of Appointments of Suffragan Bishops


Vacancy in See Press Announcement

Role Specification

Shortlisting Matrix



Upcoming vacancies

  • Canterbury
  • Gloucester
  • Norwich
  • York

Nomination and appointment process

The nomination of a Dean to either a Crown or Parish Church Cathedral is made by a panel convened for this purpose. The panel is led by a Chair, nominated by the Archbishop of the Province.

Note to applicants

  • Guidance notes for completing application forms
  • If you would like to find out any more about a role or the application process, please contact Stephen Knott 020 7898 1292
  • The name of the vacancy you are applying for should be noted in the subject heading of the email.
  • We are unable to accept applications after the closing date shown for each post.


Overview of Appointment Process for Deans

Appointment Process for Deans

Archdeacons and Residentiary Canons


Nominations and appointments of Archdeacons are specific to each diocese, though the decision of who is appointed rests with the Diocesan Bishop. It is recommended practice for an Advisory Group to be appointed to work in confidence with the Bishop throughout the appointment process.


Overview of Appointment Process for Archdeacons

Appointment Process for Archdeacons

Statutory Duties of an Archdeacon


Residentiary Canons

Nominations and appointments of Residentiary Canons are specific to each diocese, and are either appointed by the Diocesan Bishop when the Bishop is the cathedral patron; or by the Crown when the Crown is the cathedral patron. It is recommended practice for an Advisory Group to be appointed to work in confidence with the Bishop and the Cathedral Dean throughout the appointment process.


Overview of Appointment Process for Residentiary Canons

Appointment Process for Residentiary Canons


Templates for appointing Archdeacons & Residentiary Canons

Role Specification

Shortlisting Matrix

Application Form

Fostering Diversity