The new diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales: Leeds will come into being on Easter Day, 2014 - April 20th - according to an agreed timetable published in August . A ‘roadmap’ for the transition to a new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales: Leeds has been agreed by the Archbishop of York and Diocesan Bishops which includes celebrations to give thanks for each diocese as they come to an end with birth of the new diocese.
Key to the transition will be the appointment of the first diocesan Bishop of Leeds. The appointment process began this September with consultations in the three dioceses, and a transitional Vacancy-in-See Committee from all three dioceses meeting to produce a ‘statement of need’.
Appointment of Bishop of Leeds - have your say - by October 3rd - deadline extended
Caroline Boddington, Archbishop's Secretary for Appointments, The Wash House, Lambeth Palace, London SE1 7JU or
Sir Paul Britton, Prime Minister's Secretary for Appointments, c/o Honours & Appointments Secretariat, Admiralty Arch, The Mall, London SW1A 2WH.
Crown Nominations Commission representatives elected
The joint Vacancy in See Committee has elected six members to serve on the Crown Nomination Commission for the appointment of the new Bishop of Leeds: David Ashton (Wakefield), Kathryn Fitzsimons (Ripon and Leeds) and Paul Slater, Zahida Mallard, Sam Corley and Debbie Child (Bradford).
The Crown Nominations Commission will meet on November 12th, interview in January 2014 and will make its selection in February when it nominates the new bishop. The new bishop would be ‘elected’ during Easter week, immediately after the ‘Appointed Day’, and enthroned in the summer of 2014.
The Archbishop of York will nominate an acting Diocesan Bishop to take on Episcopal responsibilities until the new Bishop's enthronement.
The ‘roadmap’ which has been published sets out a step by step process towards the full implementation of the scheme, with the Area system fully taking effect by 2016. The first diocesan Synod will meet in the Autumn of next year and a new Diocesan Synod will be elected in 2015.
The Bishop of Pontefract, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson will become the Area Bishop for Wakefield and the Bishop of Knaresborough, Rt Revd James Bell, the Area Bishop for Ripon.
In the immediate period after Easter 2014 the existing Diocesan offices will continue to serve the geographical areas they serve now with project director John Tuckett, becoming Acting Diocesan Secretary.
A new website is expected to be up and running within the next few weeks to keep people in touch with events as they unfold during this transitional period.
While many features of the new diocese will be introduced gradually after the appointed day, the roadmap makes clear that important administrative preparations will be needed before the end of this year. Other transitional appointments will include an acting Chancellor, Diocesan Registrar and a Director of Education.