Memorandum by Philip Mawer, The Church
of England Archbishop's Council (PAP 9)
My attention has been drawn to the reference
to the Church of England Bishoprics in the consultation paper
defining the scope of this enquiry. It may be helpful if I offer
the following brief comments.
The present arrangements for the appointment
of diocesan bishops in the Church of England were agreed between
Church and Stage in 1976. They embody a subtle balance int eh
responsibilities of the Church on the one hand and the Crown,
advised by the Prime Minister, on the other in respect of the
making of these appointments.
The role of the Prime Minister in the process
has been debated by the General Synod on a number of occasions
since 1976, and on each occasion the Synod has endorsed the existing
arrangements. A further Debate, on a motion from the Diocese of
Southwark again raising this issue, is expected to the completed
in the Synod in July this year.
The procedures followed within the current framework
of understanding between Church and State were recently comprehensively
reviewed by a group led by Baroness Perry of Southwark. The group,
which was advised by Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and took evidence
from Lord Nolan and others, sought to take account of best practice
in the making of public appointments. Its recommendationsthe
thrust of which was endorsed by the general Synod in July last
yearare currently being followed up. A copy of the report
of the group is enclosed for your Committee's information.
It would appear from the Committee's Consultation
paper that the Church of England diocesan bishoprics are fairly
peripheral to the main issues of concern to the Committee.
The Church of England Archbishops' Council