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Green light for Yorkshire super-diocese

28 July 2011

by Ed Thornton

THE Dioceses Commission is press­ing ahead with plans to replace the dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds, and Wakefield with a single, larger diocese, divided into five epsicopal areas, after two of the three dioceses voted in favour of the idea, which was proposed in a report published last year (News, 10 December).

An “interim progress report” pub­lished by the Commission on Wed­nes­day said that it was drawing up a “draft reorganisation scheme” to create a single diocese, and preparing “draft instruments for the creation of episcopal areas”. The report said: “On the basis of the responses that the Commission has received, its sense is that there is more support within the area of the three dioceses for a whole single diocese than for any other solution that has been proposed.”

The proposal was supported in principle by the synods of Ripon & Leeds (News, 11 March) and Wake­field (News, 13 May); both dioceses voted against the new diocese’s being centred in Wakefield, as the Commis­sion suggested, and expressed con­cerns about unity and costs. Bradford diocesan synod did not take a formal vote on the specific proposal of creating a single diocese, but did agree that a draft scheme to reorganise the three dioceses be produced. The Archdeacon of Brad­ford, the Ven. Dr David Lee, said that the diocese was “open to change”, but that “more work needs to be done, including a financial analysis, before we can begin to vote on any specific proposal”.

The interim progress report said that the draft reorganisation scheme would be published in October, accompanied by a statement on the impact that the proposals will have on the mission of the C of E and a “detailed estimate” of the financial cost of creating a single diocese.

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