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‘Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.’Ephesians 3.20-21
Final Message from the Committee Chair
On Monday 5 December the Vacancy-in-See Committee (ViSC) met for the fourth and last of our in-person meetings, during which the Committee approved the Statement of Needs unanimously. We also elected six of our number to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission. With that, our work is finished.
Since 1 September the ViSC has been hard at work. In addition to our full meetings, the seven who formed the drafting group had many further in-person meetings and Zoom calls to produce the text; I am immensely grateful to them for their outstanding work. Thanks also to a number of individuals across the diocese who produced individual paragraphs on specific aspects of our diocesan ministry and mission. Thanks also to Jemima Lewis and Jess Gwynn, who formatted the document and inserted the images. Huge thanks are also due to Colin Harbidge, who served as Secretary to the ViSC; without Colin’s quiet efficiency and good humour our work would have been immeasurably harder.
This has been quite a task: now it is done. I commend this Statement of Needs to you on behalf of the whole Committee.
I want to thank you all for your prayers. As the process now moves away from the diocese, please go on praying for the continuing search for the next Bishop of Winchester.
Our CNC Representatives
Here are our six reps who will now join the Crown Nominations Committee (CNC) in the next stage of the discernment process for the Bishop of Winchester. Please continue to pray for them in this important role.
Niv Lobo is curate at Highfield Church in Southampton and part-time Chaplain at the University of Southampton, as well as being involved in the vocations process as a UKME vocations champion in the diocese – helping our diocese represent and cherish the diversity of the ‘every nation’ multitude which will worship God forever (Revelation 7:9).
Ian Dighe has sat on many Christian organisations boards over the past 35 years, including New Wine, Westminster Theological Centre and the Bible Society. Of Anglo-Indian heritage, he chairs the Nominations Committee of the Bible Society with specific responsibility for the composition and diversity of the board of trustees. He lives and serves in a rural parish, Milford on Sea, in the New Forest.
Eve Paterson works for Tearfund and is currently working towards an MA in Media, Campaigning, and Social Change, having previously worked for the mission team at the Evangelical Alliance. She worships at St Mary’s Andover where she and her husband host a home group, and where he also is the worship pastor.
Catherine Ogle is the Dean of Winchester since 2017 and relishes the challenges and opportunities of leading the Christian life and mission of this great Benedictine foundation cathedral. She is the former Dean of Birmingham and Vicar of Huddersfield, having been amongst the first women to be ordained priest in the Church of England in 1994.
Gwilym Stone is part of Swaythling Parish, Southampton, where he has been leading a “Threshold” service, having completed the Bishop’s Commission for Mission course in Pioneering. Before coming to Southampton he spent three years working in University Chaplaincy and now works at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency as Deputy Director for Regulations and Standards.
Alison Coulter is one of our General Synod reps and member of Archbishops’ Council & Vice Chair of the House of Laity for General Synod. Alison is also a Director within the ‘People Team’ for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight NHS ICB and she worships at Christ Church, Winchester.
The process so far…
On 1 September 2022 our Vacancy in See Committee held its first meeting to begin the process for discerning and appointing our next Bishop of Winchester. The Committee asks all members of our Diocesan Community to support this important task through prayer and reflection.
The Vacancy in See Committee exists to assist in the national process of discerning and appointing a new Diocesan Bishop. All dioceses are always required to have a Vacancy in See Committee in existence, but the Group only meets when a vacancy in the diocesan bishop post arises.
The process for discerning and appointing a new diocesan bishop in the Church of England includes a range of tasks and responsibilities at both a diocesan and national level. To find out more about this process please review the national guidance which is available to download here:
Our Vacancy in See Committee was first convened in September 2022 at the request of the Archbishops’ Appointment Secretary.
The Vacancy in See Committee is required to meet at least twice, but our Committee has chosen to hold four meetings between September and December 2022. A summary timetable for the process can be downloaded here:
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