Vacancy in See

The Rt. Revd David Urquhart retired from the post of the Bishop of Birmingham on 18 October 2022, creating a vacancy in see.

The vacancy in see process is now under way.

The Archbishops’ and Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretaries consult widely to build up a profile of the diocese, the needs of the city and the region and work with the CofE Birmingham Vacancy in See Committee on developing the diocesan Statement of Needs, which sets out a description of the diocese, reflections on the challenges and opportunities for Gospel and Church in the communities served and the gifts and skills they might be seeking in a new bishop.  The Church of England Birmingham Statement of Needs can be found here.

Our Vacancy in See committee is made up of ex-officio members and members elected by Diocesan Synod. Click here for further information.

Six members of our Vacancy in See committee have been elected to join The Crown Nominations Commission (CNC).  They are as follows:

  • Mrs Dawn Brathwaite
  • The Revd Toby Crowe
  • Mr Guy Hordern
  • Dr Rachel Jepson
  • The Revd Becky Stephens
  • The Ven Jenny Tomlinson

In addition to these six members, the CNC also includes the Archbishops and six representatives elected by the General Synod of the Church of England. Further detail is available on the CofE website.

The CNC is responsible for developing the role profile and the person specification for the next bishop, shortlisting candidates and interviewing candidates.  CNC meetings will take place on the following dates:

  • Role Specification meeting - 19 January 2023
  • CNC 1 meeting (Shortlisting) - 21 April 2023
  • CNC 2 meeting (Interviews) - 18 and 19 May 2023

The CNC then recommend the name of their preferred candidate to the Prime Minister, who advises the Sovereign who formally nominates the candidate to the vacant see. The Crown then grants to the College of Canons of Birmingham Cathedral, St Philip’s, a licence to proceed to elect a new Bishop of Birmingham and a letter missive naming the person to be elected.

The Archbishops’ and Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretaries consultation takes place in the form of a listening exercise in relation to the future ministry and mission of the next bishop and the CofE Birmingham. This exercise has been carried out (via Zoom and an online form) within the diocese, the National Church Institutions (the strategic and support teams based in London) and the wider Church and community.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the exercise by joining the public Zoom meeting or completing the online form.

If you have any questions relating to the Vacancy in See process, please contact the Executive Assistant to the Diocesan Secretary, Nicola Booth, at


From 19 October 2022, The Rt. Revd. Anne Hollinghurst, Bishop of Aston, Suffragan Bishop CofE Birmingham, has been authorised by the Archbishop of Canterbury as commissary bishop or ‘Acting Bishop of Birmingham’.

Bishop Anne commented,

“The next season of our life as the Church of England Birmingham will be one of both transition and continuity. Transition as we give thanks for Bishop David and his ministry and begin to pray for whom God may be calling to join us in Birmingham. Continuity as we seek to faithfully walk together the journey that God has set us on. That journey involves our ongoing commitment to our Transforming Church vision - to see growing churches at the heart of each community, as well as being a transforming presence within them. Our core principles continue to focus us on lively discipleship and mission, encouraging us to embed the full five marks of mission in all that we seek to do and be, as followers of Jesus Christ. I look forward to continuing to work and pray alongside all our parishes, chaplaincies and new worshipping communities for the coming of God’s kingdom amongst us.”

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