PROPOSED changes to the procedure by which bishops are elected
were outlined in a motion brought before the Church of Ireland's
The Synod was asked to accept the position report of the
Commission on Episcopal Ministry and Structures; acknowledge the
need for change; and ask the commission to bring a Bill to the next
Synod to reform the procedure for electing bishops along the lines
They include the provision that when a bishop announces his or
her intention to resign, the Archbishop will appoint a facilitator
to meet episcopal electors from the diocese concerned. The part
played by the facilitator will be to help draw up a draft diocesan
profile and statement of needs.
The proposer, the Revd Stephen Farrell
(Dublin), told the Synod: "This will allow a diocese to take stock:
to consider, as clergy and people together, the needs of the
diocese going forward."
The Electoral College will then set up a discernment
sub-committee to compile a shortlist of three to five names for
consideration by the Electoral College.
"Where an election is made, the consent of the person elected is
obtained before their name is passed to the House of Bishops. The
role of the House of Bishops is unchanged, save that the
Discernment Committee liaises with the House of Bishops, and gets
their input just before it prepares its shortlist."
If no candidate is elected, the College may choose to ask the
President of the College to summon a third meeting of the College
within one month, and ask the Discernment Committee to bring
forward additional names for consideration at that date.
Alternatively, if the College does not elect, it can opt to pass
the election to the House of Bishops.
The motion was carried.