THE Synod, on Monday afternoon, resolved "that the Vacancy
in See Committees Regulation 1993 (as amended in 2003, 2007 and
2008) be amended so as to ensure that Vacancy in See Committees
have at least 21 members".
Introducing the motion from Bradford diocesan synod, Ian
Fletcher (Bradford) said that it had been drawn up "to
correct a perceived fault in the current Regulations". The coding
of the Vacancy-in-See Committees Regulation was "in need of some
Those involved in interpreting the regulations in Bradford
before the appointment of the current Bishop had "failed to
exercise options that might have been available to them": the
committee numbered 14 core members, not the minimum of 18.
The background paper from the Secretary General had highlighted
that the consequences of the electoral process were not considered
when the Synod increased the number of members of the Crown
Nominations Commission from four to six. This was "an omission that
He suggested that "the membership should be decided by elec-
tion and not by who contacts various proposers and seconders
There was an attempt to move to next business, and the
Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, said that the difficulty
was particular to Bradford. "Don't cure Bradford's difficulty by
curing a problem that doesn't exist."
Clive Scowen (London) and Dr Philip
Giddings (Oxford) resisted the move. The Bishop of
Bradford, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, acknowledged that
Bradford "didn't do its job properly. That's a separate issue from
one of principle: is there a case to answer? If so, let's debate it
and deal with it." Debate continued.
The Revd Hugh Lee (Oxford) supported the Single
Transferable Vote (STV), but asked for advice about how to improve
The Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Homes (Northern
Universities) said that they were "quite bright up North", and, if
they had not managed to grasp that they could have increased the
membership to as many as 24, then the chances were that some other
diocese might "make the same mistake". The change proposed had "no
disadvantages", and "could help people. . . Let's just do it."