Posted by: rbbadger | April 1, 2009

The selection of bishops in the C of E

The Church of England has an interesting process for selection bishops.  Unlike its daughter, the Episcopal Church, where bishops are elected by diocesan conventions and can only be ordained bishops following affirmative votes from the majority of bishops and standing committees of dioceses, the appointment of bishops in the C of E is very much an affair of state.  Bishops of the C of E are appointed by HM The Queen in her role as the temporal head of the Church of England.  However, she does not do the appointing on her own.  Much like how she only acts “on the advice of Parliament”, she follows similar procedure in the naming of bishops.  Once the Crown Nominations Commission has shortened the list down to about two names, the Prime Minister chooses one and forwards that name onto the Queen who automatically appoints the bishop in question.

The BBC TV show Yes, Prime Minister once featured the process of the naming of bishops.  One of the proposed candidates is a modernist and one of the Prime Minister’s advisors is called in to explain exactly what a modernist is. 

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