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Delay in nominating the next Bishop of Oxford

29 May 2015


From the Revd Dr Richard Sturch

Sir, - If the Crown Nominations Commission could not decide for themselves on the best candidate for the see of Oxford (News and Letters, 22 May), why did they not follow the example of the Apostles (used twice in recent lectionary readings) and draw lots, prayerfully, to decide between what one presumes were all, like Matthias and Barsabbas, reasonably qualified for the task?

35 Broomfield,
Stacey Bushes,
Milton Keynes MK12 6HA


From Mr Paul Clifford

Sir, - Don Manley (Letters, 22 May) searches for reasons that the Crown Nominations Commission was unable to agree on the next Bishop of Oxford. However, the real failure is the extraordinary dilatoriness that has characterised the entire process.

The previous Bishop gave the required six months' notice and retired at the end of last October. It took a further eight months for the Commission to meet, and it will now be another ten months before it can reconvene to resume the search.

It is quite possible that this supposedly key post will remain unfilled for more than two years. And this in itself raises a question: if the Church of England is content for this to be the case, why do we need 43 diocesan bishops anyway?

Michaelmas Cottage,
Bletchingdon Road,
Kirtlington OX5 3HF

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