The Vacancy in See Committee of the Diocese of Truro has published its Statement of Needs, which will help to shape the process of appointing the next Bishop of Truro.

The 33-page document has been created following months of consultations and outlines the characteristics that the church and people of Cornwall have said they want in their new bishop. It will be provided to all those who are considering, or being considered for, the role of Bishop of Truro.

The Statement of Needs says: “There is an opportunity for the right person to be a bishop for all of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, and our two parishes in Devon. Bringing hope to the lost, joy to those living in poverty, and Jesus to those who need to know him. Our new bishop will need to listen well to discern meaning and promote understanding with the many and sometimes contradictory demands made on them by individuals and groups. We are looking for caring, listening leadership to help us make those plans come true while building us up in the body of Christ.”

Hopeful and realistic

The document clearly describes the church in Cornwall and the communities it serves. With details on the strategic work as well as key information on safeguarding, education and creation care, the document is realistic but filled with hope.

It says: “Our new bishop will come to a diocese that is excited about its future, a diocese of faithfulness and hope, a diocese where we have spent time discerning strategic aims and creating plans for fruitfulness and sustainability.”

In February, the committee appointed six of its number to join the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC). The CNC also includes the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, appointments secretaries to both the Prime Minister and the archbishops, and some permanent members appointed by General Synod. The commission will now take forward the task of appointing the new bishop.

Chair of the Vacancy in See Committee and Dean of Truro, Simon Robinson, thanked members for their work over the last five months. He said: “It has been a tremendous privilege to chair the process to this point and I am very grateful to all members of the committee and to diocesan colleagues for their hard work and commitment. Now our call is to pray for those who will be involved in the rest of this important process of discernment. May God bless them with those great Godly gifts of wisdom and discernment.”

The CNC will meet in September 2024 to begin the shortlisting process with interviews expected to be held in October 2024. It is likely to be the new year before any announcement is made and around Spring 2025 before a new Bishop is welcomed.

The CNC members from the diocese have written a prayer for everyone to use as they embark on their work. Please do use it and share it.

Prayer for the Crown Nominations Commission

LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, as this process to elect a new Diocesan Bishop of Truro commences, we confess to you our unfaithfulness as a people, and ask that by grace, you would bring us a leader who is all for you.

Help the Crown Nominations Commission be attentive to you as its members seek to discern who should lead us.  We pray that they be inspired by your Spirit as they prepare; and for wisdom, courage and unity as they deliberate, and vote.   Reveal to them, and to the candidates, to whom this call belongs.

We ask that heaven would touch our land; that our church leadership would walk intimately with you; that we would learn afresh of, and to delight in, your power, the glory of your Name, and your faithfulness to us; that all would turn to you, our living, Lord Jesus. Hallelujah.

Based on the biblical story of Nehemiah