Frequently Asked Questions
Every diocese is led by a single Diocesan Bishop (called an Archbishop in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide). The Diocesan Bishop role is unique and should not be confused with assistant bishops. Stuart Robinson served as our Diocesan Bishop from 2009 to March 2018, but with his retirement it is time for our Diocese to choose a new Bishop. Bishop Trevor Edwards will continue as the Diocesan Administrator (acting Diocesan Bishop) in the interim.
How will the new Bishop be elected?
The Bishop will be elected through a voting process at an electoral Synod, most probably held in late 2018. All members of Synod will be involved in this. (answer updated 25/3/18)
To refer to the relevant sections of the Governance of the Diocese Ordinance please click:
Schedules 1 and 2 – Election of Bishop and Balloting for Election of Bishop
What role does the Committee have?
At the one-day Synod held on 3/3/18 the Episcopal Election Nominations Committee (EENC) was elected. This committee will do a lot of the preparation work for the electoral Synod but it will be the Synod itself who will vote on who should be the new Bishop. (answer updated 6/4/18)
Who is on the EENC?
Archdeacon David Ruthven, Reverend James Coats, Reverend Anna Boxwell, Mr Greg Mills, Dr Ingrid Moses, Mr Bob Arthur. The EENC is supported by the Reverend Sandy Jones (Melbourne) as a consultant, and the Registrar Mr Trevor Ament and Deputy Registrar Ms Emma Body as secretaries. (answer updated 25/3/18)
What work will the EENC do?
The EENC will consult with the Diocese via a series of regional consultation workshops and an online questionnaire before producing a Diocesan profile and selection criteria. It will then seek candidates and receive candidate suggestions from Synod members. It will work with candidates to ensure they meet the selection criteria and adequately understand the Diocese and the role, as well as pass other background checks. It will then give a presentation about each candidate at the electoral Synod, enabling Synod members to discuss and vote in an informed manner. (answer updated 25/3/18)
Where and when will the regional consultation workshops be held?
|1. Canberra South||5. Canberra North|
|Friday, 20 April, 7pm - 10pm|
Venue: St Mary in the Valley, South Tuggeranong (Calwell)
|Thursday, 3 May, 7pm - 10pm
Venue: St John’s, 45 Constitution Avenue, Reid
|2. Monaro and Alpine Region||6. Goulburn and the Southern Tablelands|
|Saturday, 21 April, 10am - 1pm|
Venue: St Paul’s, 136 Commissioner Street, Cooma
|Friday, 4 May, 7pm - 10pm
Venue: Christ Church West Goulburn, 130 Addison St, Goulburn
|3. NSW South Coast – Bega||7. Western - Young|
|Saturday, 21 April, 7pm - 10pm|
Venue: St John’s, 12 Church Street, Bega
|Saturday, 5 May, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Venue: St John’s, Cloete Street, Young
|4. NSW South Coast – Batemans Bay||8. Wagga Wagga|
|Sunday, 22 April, 1.30pm - 4.30pm|
Venue: Church of the Ascension, 6 Herarde Street, Batemans Bay
|Sunday, 6 May, 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Venue: St Paul’s, 31 Fernleigh Road, Turvey Park
All members of the Diocese are welcome to attend these consultations. There is no need to RSVP – simply turn up. You may attend whichever consultation you find most convenient, however, we do ask that you attend no more than one consultation in total. (answer updated 6/4/18)
So that all views can considered during the workshop, people are encouraged to reflect and prepare in advance. A copy of the workshop instructions and pre-work activity can be obtained here: 2018 EENC Consultation – Workshop Information & Prework Questions. It would be helpful if people could respond to the questions on page 2 before their arrival.
How can I access the online questionnaire?
The online questionnaire will be accessible from the Diocesan website and will be active from 20/4 to 14/5. It is open to all members of the Diocese whether or not you have attended or will attend a consultation workshop. (answer updated 6/4/18)
I know somebody I think would be a good Bishop. How can I tell the EENC?
Initially, wait and pray. It is important that prospective candidates be considered against the final Diocesan profile and selection criteria, so until these documents are finalised the EENC will not be considering prospective candidates. Once these are done the EENC will invite Synod members to suggest possible candidates. Further details about this will be explained in coming months. (answer updated 25/3/18)
When will the Diocesan profile and selection criteria be finalised?
We aim to distribute these documents to members of Synod in early June, then after a two week period it will become final. During this two week period the Diocesan ordinance allows for a quorum of Synod (being 20 clergy and 40 lay members) to petition the Registrar if they believe it to be unsatisfactory, in which case a session of Synod may be called to resolve the issue and finalise the profile and selection criteria. The EENC sincerely hopes this does not eventuate and is working hard to ensure that the profile and selection criteria accurately reflect the feedback received during the consultation phase. (answer updated 6/4/18)
Can the EENC reject candidates?
Yes, the EENC has the power to reject candidates if they do not meet the selection criteria. For candidates who do meet the selection criteria, the EENC is obliged to bring them to Synod. (answer updated 25/3/18)
What information can members of the EENC give me?
EENC members have signed confidentiality agreements such that no personal information can be shared beyond that group. Appropriate information about candidates will be revealed at a time closer to the electoral Synod to members of Synod only. (answer updated 25/3/18)
I’m not a member of Synod, can I still be involved?
Yes, you can. Please do pray during the process – we have some prayer resources on our website. You can certainly give your input during the consultation phase as the diocesan profile and selection criteria are being formed. Beyond this, every parish and ministry unit and agency elects its own Synod representatives. Your Synod representatives are the best people to speak to if you would like to express an opinion, as they will represent your parish, ministry unit or agency. Note that as the process continues they will be constrained in what they can share, as, for the sake of protecting candidates, not all information about candidates will be able to be shared beyond members of Synod. (answer updated 25/3/18)
I have mentioned the name of a potential candidate to a member of the EENC. Is that all I need to do?
The EENC members will not formally accept candidate suggestions until after the profile and selection criteria are available. After that time there will be a window of opportunity for names to be formally submitted to the EENC. The process for this will be explained in coming months. Just mentioning a name to an EENC member does not constitute a formal submission. (answer updated 25/3/18)