Terms of Reference for Bishop’s Review of Winchester Cathedral

Terms of Reference for Bishop’s Review of Winchester Cathedral

On 18 June, Bishop Philip announced that he would be commissioning a Review of Winchester Cathedral under the terms of the Cathedrals’ Measure 2021. This measure states that: “the bishop may commission a review of such aspects of the cathedral’s financial affairs, governance, management, operations or mission as the bishop considers necessary or appropriate.”

Patti Russell of Winckworth Sherwood, a highly experienced ecclesiastical lawyer with expertise both in the area of cathedral governance and leadership and HR matters, will be conducting the Review on the Bishop’s behalf.

The Terms of Reference for the Review are as follows:

To conduct a review and make recommendations to the Bishop concerning:
1) The leadership and management of the Cathedral’s choirs to include consideration of recent HR decision making and communications;
2) The culture and behaviours of the Chapter and Cathedral and the extent to which this affects Cathedral operations, specifically in relation to the Cathedral’s choirs;
3) Cathedral decision making processes and, in particular, the processes by which the Chapter manages risk and critical issues;
4) Governance structures and the efficacy of leadership at Chapter level.

The methodology for the review includes the following:
1) The review is to be carried out in accordance with applicable Church Commissioners’ Guidance on the Bishop’s Review under the Cathedrals Measure 2021.
2) The review should engage with relevant stakeholders including the Cathedral’s clerical leaders, the Senior Leadership Team, current and previous members of the Chapter, current and previous members of the music department, the Cathedral’s communications advisor and HR advisor and parents of choristers.
3) The review should be conducted expeditiously, aiming to produce a draft report within 3 months of commencement.
4) As set out in the draft Church Commissioners’ Guidance, the final report is to be confidential to the Bishop, however the Bishop must provide the Chapter with a report setting out any conclusions or recommendations resulting from the review and a copy of this report should be provided to the Church Commissioners.
5) In accordance with the draft Guidance, it is not intended that the report is to be a public document although key recommendations from the report may be communicated publicly at the Bishop’s discretion upon seeking legal advice.
6) The Chapter must have due regard to the conclusions reached and recommendations made by the Bishop’s review.

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In a statement, Bishop Philip said: “Whilst the Review will of course focus on areas which have been the subject of public concern, it is important to stress that its aim is primarily pastoral. The recommendations which it gives me will, I trust, enable Winchester Cathedral to move into a more settled future in which it continues to offer worship to God of the highest quality, and to act as a sign of his welcome and love to all who enter into it. After a very difficult and painful period I would ask all those concerned to approach the work of the review with grace and trust so that together we can play our part in ensuring the Cathedral enters into that positive and fruitful future.”