Ed: The following e-mail has been sent today (23 September 2009) by e-mail to those clergy and laity who were on the original circulation list when this concern was raised by Chelmsford Anglican Mainstream. It has not, to my knowledge, gone to other clergy and laity in the diocese.
We are really sorry that some people feel they have not had sufficient and time and warning to offer their submissions in the Vacancy in Sea process within our Diocese. This has come as something of a surprise because the whole process was described and dates given out publicly at both Bishop’s Council and Diocesan Synod and the timetable was included within those discussions and minuted.
Furthermore, newspaper advertisements were published in local papers so that even non-church people would know how to submit comments and the dates were also given.
In addition to all this, the Appointments Secretaries to the Archbishop and Prime Minister met on 8th, 9th and 10th September with nearly 150 people from a vast range of perspectives, walks of life and opinions. They certainly felt that they did hear from the different constituencies of the Diocese although, of course, not every individual could meet them. The Diocesan Office made appointments from this very wide range and were contacting additional interviewees even very close to the date in order to squeeze people into every available slot.
Our own Diocesan-elected Vacancy in See Committee met on three occasions in accordance with normal procedures to discuss the Statement of Needs of this Diocese and a smaller Drafting Group met in between those meetings in order to address the drafting for the main Committee. That Statement of Needs was finalised in accordance with the normal procedure and has been delivered to the Appointments Secretaries. It is shortly to be published on the website.
As has been stated, there was also the opportunity to send written representations directly to the Appointments Secretaries and the details of that were published in the media and also on the Diocesan website.
I understand that some people are unhappy that they may have missed the dead-line of 21 September 2009 and I have spoken to Caroline Boddington who has agreed that this dead-line can now be extended until 30 September 2009 so that anyone within your grouping or within the wider Church can avail themselves of the opportunity.
The composition of the Vacancy in See Committee was from a wide variety of people within the Diocese and the Appointments Secretaries have seen a wide cross section of our clergy and laity. However, it is highly undesirable that anyone should feel that they have not had the opportunity to make their representations which is why Caroline Boddington and I have agreed to the extension of time. Furthermore, the Vacancy in See Committee has elected six members to go forward to the Crown Nominations Committee in December 2009 and January 2010 and they will be meeting in October and probably in November as well. Do let them know your hopes for a new Bishop if they have not already been added to the on-line statement. The names of those six people are :
Revd John Dunnett
I hope that this information will assist you and others to make such representations as you feel necessary about the needs of the Diocese and the type of Bishop that you would like to see appointed.
I am sorry for any disquiet that has been felt as a result of the process.
From the office of Dr Laurie Green
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.