How a new bishop is chosen
Led by the Commissary, the voting members of our diocesan Synod will form an Electoral College to nominate a new bishop. Eligible members of the College will receive separate notification. Members of the Electoral College have to attend in person and cannot send a substitute. Clergy who hold Permissions to Officiate are not members of the Electoral College, as they are not voting members of the diocesan Synod. Further, if a vacant lay Synod position has been filled since the last three yearly round of lay Synod elections in 2017, that appointee is not eligible to participate in the Electoral College under the terms of the Diocesan Structures Statute.
The successful nominee from the Electoral College must be approved by the other bishops in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and ratified by the members of General Synod before he or she can be installed as bishop of the Diocese of Nelson. This is because the proposed bishop will not only be bishop of this diocese, but of the Anglican Church as a whole. There may be some delay after the Electoral College to allow for this process before a new bishop is announced. It is unlikely that a new bishop will be announced before Easter 2019 at the earliest.
Standing Committee has appointed a group of five people to work with the Commissary to make all necessary arrangements for the Electoral College, including a process of consultation and information gathering. Those appointed to the Arrangements Committee are Mrs. Helen Neame, Mr. Laurie Gabites, Mr. Ian Pask, Revd. Jean Palmer and Revd. Joe Keighley. The Arrangements Committee has appointed Ian Pask as its convener. If you have any questions about the electoral process please contact either Ian Pask or the Electoral College Secretary, Annie Fraser.
The Arrangements Committee has now met and agreed on this process as well as the dates for the Electoral College. The Electoral College will meet from Thursday 28 February 2019 to Saturday 2 March 2019.
Consultation prior to the Electoral College
You are invited to participate in a process of consultation to help inform members of the Electoral College in their nomination of a new bishop. Two consultation meetings will be held in each deanery:
Meeting 1 will be to discuss and provide feedback on the following questions, which will then be collated and used to inform the selection process:
- What is our diocesan identity?
- What is our vision?
- What are we looking for in a new bishop?
This first consultation meeting will be held at the location and date in each regional deanery. Ven. David Hollingsworth will convene Mawhera, Waimea & Nelson and Rev Capt. Richard Dyer (as regional dean) will convene Marlborough.
Marlborough Tues 16 October 2018, 7-9pm
Nativity Church, Blenheim
The questions to be discussed will also be placed on the diocesan website to enable those who cannot attend a regional meeting to provide input. Please respond to The Ven. David Hollingsworth, at the Anglican Centre by Sunday 21 October 2018.
Meeting 2 will be an opportunity to prayerfully discuss who God might be calling to be our next bishop in light of information collated from Meeting 1. This will not be a brainstorming exercise, but a process of prayerful discernment. Experience from other dioceses is that that this process usually results in about three or four names being put forward by each gathering. These names will then be sent to the Arrangements Committee, which will organise such matters as movers and seconders, police vetting, referees' reports and structured video interviews, which in turn will be used to inform members of the Electoral College. All information on candidates is confidential to the Electoral College and members of the College are required to maintain confidentiality forever.
This second consultation meeting of prayerful discernment will be held at the following location
Marlborough Mon 12 November 2018, 7-9pm
In addition to names emerging from these prayer meetings, anyone may put forward the name a potential candidate, as long as they are proposed and seconded by a lay and clergy member of the Electoral College. Nomination forms are available from the Electoral College Secretary, Annie Fraser. The names of all proposed candidates must be received by the Electoral College Secretary by 30 November 2018.
Please join in praying for our new bishop
It is essential that together we underpin the process for selecting a new bishop with prayer. A diocesan-wide day of prayer will be called on Saturday 3 November 2018. Please pray that the person of God's calling will emerge.Please pray that ambition will be set aside and true discernment will prevail.
Please pray for God's guidance and wisdom as nominations are sought, tendered and voted on at next year's Electoral College.