General Synod Candidates meet at the first 'hustings'

An increased number of candidates from the diocese are standing for this year’s election to the Church of England’s General Synod.  Three clergy places and three lay places on the Church of England’s parliament will be contested by a total of 17 candidates from across the diocese which stretches from South Leeds to the border of North Yorkshire with County Durham. 

'Hustings' are taking place at three venues with the first of those taking place this week at Ripon Cathedral. The nine lay and eight clergy candidates set out their views and answered questions. The high level of  interest in representing the diocese can be partly attributed to the crucial final decision making phase on women bishops legislation which takes place during the next five year term of the General Synod. It is possibly also the result of a national push to attract new candidates onto Synod.  “Be part of the big picture” was a campaign using internet and video to encourage younger people to seek nomination and have an influence on the future direction of the Church of England.


Contesting the three House of Clergy places are the Revd Johannes Arens, the Revd Canon Ian Black, Venerable Peter Burrows, the Revd Jonathan Clark, the Revd Canon Kathryn Fitzsimons, the Revd David Ford, the Revd Janet Kearton and the Revd Alex Lane. 

Jonathan Clark

Revd Kathryn Fitzsimons

Jonathan Clarke                  Kathryn Fitzsimons

Jan Kearton

Revd Ian Black

Jan Kearton                        Ian Black

Alex Lane

David Ford

Alex Lane                            David Ford

Peter Burrows

Johannes Arens

Peter Burrows                    Johannes Arens


Standing for the three House of Laity places are Mrs Esther Arens  (St. James the Great, Manston),  John Beal (Moor Allerton and Shadwell), Nigel Greenwood (St Chad’s, Far Headingley), Professor Joyce Hill (St Aidan’s, Harehills), Richard Mantle (St Wilfrid’s, Harrogate), Mrs Mary Shepherd (St Romald, Romaldkirk), Derek Sharpe (Ainderby Steeple), Raymond Vollans (Bramley) and Ian Waterhouse (Beeston).

Esther Arens

John Beale

Esther Arens                      John Beal

Nigel Greenwood

Joyce Hill

Nigel Greenwood                 Joyce Hill

Richard Mantle

Mary Shepherd

Richard Mantle                   Mary Shepherd

Derek Sharpe

Raymond Vollans

Derek Sharpe                     Raymond Vollans

Ian Waterhouse

Ian Waterhouse

Meet the candidates

Further meetings to meet the candidates will be held at Leeds Parish Church on September 28th at 7pm and at St Cuthbert’s Colburn, Catterick Garrison on October 4th at 7.30pm.

The constituencies which will decide the choice of candidates are relatively narrow. The three clergy places will be chosen by serving clergy and retired clergy who have permission to officiate and are members of a deanery synod. Lay places are elected only by lay members of deanery synods - meaning many more lay candidates could stand than can vote. All those entitled to vote will receive voting papers and the candidates addresses (or manifestos) around September 17th.  Postal votes must be returned to the Diocesan Registrar, Mrs Nicola Harding, by October 8th. Results will be announced on or after October 12th.

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