Saturday, December 27, 2008

Church in Wales to elect new Bishop of St Asaph

The door of St Asaph Cathedral will be locked on January 5 as a new bishop of the Church in Wales is elected.

Inside, a “college” of 47 people, including the five other Welsh diocesan bishops, will nominate and vote on candidates for the new Bishop of St Asaph for up to three days.

Once a decision is made, the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, will unlock and open the west door of the Cathedral and announce the name of the Bishop-Elect from the doorstep.

The election follows the retirement of the Rt Rev John Davies in December, who served as Bishop of the diocese from 1999.

The new bishop will be the 76th Bishop of St Asaph, an area covering the north-east corner of Wales - the counties of Conwy and Flintshire, Wrexham county borough, the eastern part of Merioneth in Gwynedd and part of northern Powys

The Electoral College is made up of representatives from all six Welsh dioceses.

The “home” diocese is represented by six lay people and six clergy, and the other five dioceses by three lay people and three clergy each, plus the five remaining Bishops.

Its discussions are confidential. Candidates for election are nominated at the meeting, discussed and voted on by ballot. Any candidate receiving two-thirds of the votes of those present is declared Bishop-Elect.

Otherwise, the College returns to the nomination stage and the cycle starts afresh.

The College may meet for up to three consecutive days in order to reach a decision; if it is unable to do so within this deadline the decision passes to the Bench of Bishops.

Once a bishop is elected, he will have up to 28 days to accept the position.

The meeting on January 5 will begin with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Cathedral at 10.30am to which anyone is welcome.

The Electoral College will meet in private and the Cathedral will be locked.

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Sotto Voce

(Source: CT)