Appointment of a new Diocesan Bishop

This section of the website sets out the process for the appointment of a new Bishop of Ely.

The appointment of a Diocesan Bishop is made by The Crown on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) of the Church of England nominates a candidate to the Prime Minister and the current convention is that this name is passed to the Sovereign for approval.

We praise and thank you, God of the journey, for all your gifts to us in the past.

We look to you as fellow traveller and faithful companion on the way ahead.

Strengthen us by your Holy Spirit

and guide us

as we seek to discern who you are calling to be our new Bishop,

that together we may serve you

as generous and visible people of Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Vacancy in See Committee

  • The legal framework for the operation of the Vacancy in See Committee is set out in the Vacancy in See Committee Regulation as Amended July 2021
  • The partnership of the Chair and Secretary of the Vacancy in See Committee (VISC) and the national appointments team is an important one. The Vacancy in See Committee is a standing committee.
  • The Vacancy in See Committee is responsible for electing six representatives from its own membership to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission for their diocese.
  • Further information on the Vacancy in see Committee membership is available here.


Key dates for the appointment are as follows.

  • The following two items were discussed at an extraordinary meeting of Bishop’s Council. on 6 July 2023 
  • Members of Bishop’s Council were required to elect the Chair of the Vacancy in See Committee (ViSC) from amongst the elected ViSC committee members. The Elected Chair was Very Revd Mark Bonney, Dean, Ely Cathedral
  • Members of Bishop’s Council were also required to appoint a person to act as Secretary to the Vacancy in See Committee. The appointed person was Canon Paul Evans, Diocesan Secretary.
  • Crown Nominations Committee Meeting 1 (shortlisting) will take place on 13 May 2024
  • Crown Nominations Committee Meeting 2 (interviews) will take place on 11 and 12 July 2024.
  •  An announcement would typically be made 6-8 weeks following the second Crown Nominations Committee Meeting

Significant Dates

  • On 30 October 2023 there will be a Public Meeting (which will be held over Zoom and Chaired by the Dean) at which individuals will be invited to ask questions, make statements and state their wishes for the new Bishop of Ely.  A short presentation will also be made by the Archbishop’s Appointments Secretary, Stephen Knott at the start of this meeting. The Zoom details will be available closer to the time.
  • There will be (online, via Zoom) consultations with the Archbishop’s Appointments Secretary and the Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary during the week commencing 30 October 2023. This will be coordinated by the Diocese of Ely and will involve a wide range of people from across the Diocese. Further information on this will become available in due course.
  • A Diocesan “Statement of Needs” (click here) will be prepared for what the Diocese is seeking in a new Bishop of Ely. (please note, the public consultation on this process is due to end at the close of play on the 18th September 2023)
  • 22 January 2024 - "Welcome call" with six (6) Crown Nominations Commission members
  • 13 May 2024 - New Bishop of Ely shortlisting
  • 11 and 12 July 2024 - New Bishop of Ely Interviews (either in London or Canterbury)
  • September 2024 (approximately) - Announcement of successful candidate.
  • Q1 2025 - Homage to the King and Enthronement.






Overview of the Process for the Nomination of a Diocesan Bishop

This page summarises the main stages in the selection and appointment of a new Bishop, through the "Announcement of Vacancy" and "Arranging a meeting of the Vacancy in See Committee" to "Election of Diocesan Representatives to the Crown Nominations Commission", "Meetings of the Crown Nominations Commission" and "Submission of the name of the preferred candidate to the Prime Minister".

Vacancy in See Committee (ViSC)

This page provides further information on the Vacancy in See Committee, it's duties and membership. It outlines what the Vacancy in See Committee (VISC) is responsible for as well as the Formation of the Committee.

Statement of Needs

The Vacancy in See Committee is responsible for preparing “The Diocesan Statement of Needs” which sets out a description of the diocese, reflections on the challenges and opportunities for Gospel and Church in the communities served and the gifts and skills they might be seeking in a new bishop to lead them in their response to these. This page sets out the process by which this document will be produced and submitted to the Crown Nominations Commission.

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