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Last updated 26th May 2022

Vacancy in See

Our final meeting of the Vacancy-in-See Committee was held on Tuesday, May 24 at Blackburn Cathedral, writes Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff, Chair of the Committee. 

We were delighted to welcome Stephen Knott (Archbishops’ Appointment Secretary) and Helen Dimmock (Prime Minister’s Appointment Secretary) to meet with us over a buffet supper.

They had appreciated spending time in the Diocese and the time spent in all the consultations. We then prayer time in the Jesus Chapel before our meeting. 

A song used in our prayer time at the Cathedral which resonated with many was 'Be still for the presence of the Lord'. May we all know His stillness, presence and leading in the coming months.”

At the meeting which followed prayer we ...

  • ... signed off the Statement of Needs
  • ... elected our six Crown Nomination Commission (CNC) representatives, from of a total of 12 who stood for nomination

Click here for more information. 


Key dates to pray

June and July                              This is when you will be able to suggest names of who you would like as the next Bishop of Blackburn
End July CNC draw up long list of candidates (8-15)
Wednesday 21 September CNC meet in York to shortlist five candidates

Tuesday and Wednesday

8 and 9 November

CNC interview candidates in York


Background on the Vacancy in See Committee

The Vacancy in See Committee has two roles:

  • To draw up a Statement of Needs, setting out what we’re looking for in our new Diocesan Bishop.
  • To elect the diocesan representatives to the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) who select the next Bishop of Blackburn.

The Committee will meet three times. Its discussions are confidential.

Bishop Jill adds: "There are many Diocesan bishops retiring at the moment, but wonderfully, the National Church is responding to this, so our interview slot is sooner than we expected in November 2022, subject to the Archbishops’ approval; which would mean the following timetable..."

Timetable for Vacancy in See

We produce our Statement of Needs and elect CNC Reps

By end of May

Archbishops’ advisers draw up their profile

By end of May

Time period for any names can be put forward (“Crazy List”)

June and July

CNC draw up Long List of candidates (8-15)

By end of July

CNC meet to shortlist 5 candidates for interview

Late September

CNC interview candidates

November 2022

Announcement (8 weeks)

January 2023

New Bishop of Blackburn (3-6 months later)

July 2023

Vacancy in See briefing document

The briefing document provided to members of the Vacancy in See Committee is available to read for anyone who wants to do so by downloading here

Vacancy in See Committee Members


The Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff (Chair)
The Rt Rev Philip North
The Venerable David Picken
The Venerable Mark Ireland
The Very Rev Peter Howell-Jones
The Rev Paul Benfield
The Rev Stephen Corbett
The Rev Alex Frost
The Rev Peter Lillicrap
The Rev Dr Tom Woolford
Mr Stephen Boyall
Mr Bob Collins
Mrs Vivienne Goddard
Mrs Rosemary Lyon
Dr Laura Oliver
Mr Paul Ronson
Mrs Jacqueline Stamper

Lancaster Archdeaconry (Clergy Elected)

The Rev Paul Bye
The Rev Canon Dr Simon Cox
The Rev Canon Fleur Green
The Rev Damian Porter

Blackburn Archdeaconry (Laity Elected)

Mr David Barlow
Mr Duncan Walsh
Mr David Wilkinson
Dr Julie Woolford

Lancaster Archdeaconry (Laity Elected)

Dame Pauline Fielding DBE
Mr Sam Walmsley

Nominated by Bishop's Council

Miss Elizabeth Agbettoh
The Rev Anne Beverley
The Rev Munawar Din






Ronnie Semley, March 2022


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