Ely Diocesan Board of Patronage

What is the Diocesan Board of Patronage?

Ely Diocesan Board of Patronage is a statutory body which has the right of presentation to clerical appointments for a number of benefices in the Diocese. Members of the Board are assigned particular responsibility for one or two of these benefices, and become involved in the process of shortlisting, interviews and appointments, encouraging appointments which are compatible with the traditions of each benefice.

Upon the institution and inducting of the new incumbent, the representative of the Board will formally ‘present’ the priest to the benefice. Board members also visit clergy to offer their support during the year.

The constitution of Ely Diocesan Board of Patronage follows the prescribed form as required by the 1986 Measure. A copy of it can be found here.

Who are the members of the Diocesan Board of Patronage?

Board members are appointed by Diocesan Synod for a six-year term, and the Board elects its own chair. The current chair is the Revd Mary Hancock, who was appointed on 28 March 2017.

The members of the Board comprise the Bishop, three clergy members and five lay. The Archdeacon, Rural Dean and Lay Deanery Chair are also invited to attend meetings where business is being considered affecting a benefice in their deanery or archdeaconry.

For which benefices is the Diocesan Board of Patronage Patron?

Ely Diocesan Board of Patronage acts as Patron to the following nine benefices:

  • Cambridge St Mark
  • Walsoken
  • Burwell with Reach
  • Clenchwarton and West Lynn
  • Barton Bendish with Beachamwell and Shingham (alternately with the Bishop of Ely)
  • Cheveley
  • The Orwell Group (jointly with the Bishop of Ely and Trinity College Cambridge)
  • Walpole St Peter with St Andrew (in turns with the Crown)
  • Papworth (having the 7th successive turn as a member of a Special Patronage Board)


Where a benefice is held in plurality (i.e. where a Pastoral Order or Scheme has been made which allows a priest to be incumbent of more than one benefice), the right of presentation is usually exercised jointly by the Patrons of each affected benefice.

For further information, please contact the Pastoral Secretary, Frances Godden: frances.godden@elydiocese.org