THE new super-diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales (
News, 12 July) will come into existence next Easter, a
timetable published this week suggests.
The "roadmap" agreed by the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, and
the existing diocesan bishops, besides setting out all the formal
procedures that have to be completed, includes celebrations to
honour the three existing dioceses of Ripon & Leeds, Bradford,
and Wakefield, which will vanish after the "Appointed Day" next
The first significant step on the journey will be the
appointment of a diocesan Bishop of Leeds. The process begins this
month with a transitional Vacancy-in-See Committee, from all three
dioceses, producing a "statement of need".
The Government's Crown Nominations Commission will meet on 12
November to consider candidates. Its choice will be revealed in
February. If all goes to plan, the new Bishop would be elected
during Holy Week, and enthroned in the summer.
The first diocesan synod will meet in the autumn of next year,
and a new diocesan synod will be elected in 2015. The final pieces
should fit into place during 2016.
In addition, a number of important behind-the-scenes
administrative tasks will need to be completed by the end of this
year, including the formation of new companies, financial
management, human resources, and other consultations. To ensure
their swift progress, Dr Sentamu has appointed the current project
manager, John Tuckett, to the post of acting diocesan secretary.
Other transitional appointments to come will include an acting
chancellor, diocesan registrar, and a director of education.
The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Stephen Platten, said that
the roadmap gave "welcome clarity to the planning for the new
diocese, and will enable parishes, individuals, and organisations
to better understand the process. By concentrating our efforts on
the efficient handover of responsibilities, we can all ensure that
the new diocese is given the best possible start."
Diocesan celebrations in Wakefield will take place in Lent and
Holy Week next year.
The Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, said: "I'm very
pleased to see publication of a clear timeline for the creation of
the new diocese. I am confident that this gives the existing
dioceses time to prepare properly, but also that there is a clear
process for setting up this new and exciting venture. We will need
to be both diligent and patient as we now proceed in the months
The Bishop of Ripon & Leeds, the Rt Revd John Packer, said:
"I welcome the roadmap, which gives us clarity as we look forward
to the future. There is a vision here to be seized, and I pray that
we will all work together to take this opportunity to further the
work of the Kingdom of God in West Yorkshire & the Dales".