Bishop Andrew will retire at Easter this year and his farewell service is in Reading Minster on Wednesday 1st May. 

Our prayers are with Bishop Andrew over the coming months as he makes his final visits to Deaneries and parishes and he and Janice prepare for the changes ahead.

Click [+] below for a letter from Bishop Steven setting out the timetable and the steps we will follow, or for details of the advisory panel announced 14 March 2019.

Key dates

  • End of consultation process to appoint a new Bishop of Reading is 15 February
  • A farewell service for Bishop Andrew will take place on Wednesday 1 May in Reading Minster
  • The provisional date for the consecration of the new Bishop of Reading is Tuesday 19 November

Advisory panel

Following consultation, Bishop Steven has announced the full advisory panel for the appointment of the next Bishop of Reading is as follows.

  • The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford
  • Andrew Anderson-Gear, Director of Mission, representing the Bishop’s Staff
  • Jo Dunne, Head of Senior Leadership Development Archbishops’ Advisers for Appointments and Development, our external advisor.
  • Poli Shajko, Director of Human Resources, Diocese of Oxford
  • The Revd Dr Graeme Fancourt, Area dean of Reading, nominated by Berkshire Area Deans
  • Caroline Kallipetis, Lay Chair of Bracknell, nominated by Berkshire Lay Chairs
  • Dr Anna Thomas Betts, Bishop’s Nominee
  • The Revd Canon Sue Booys, Chair of the House of Clergy of the Diocesan Synod
  • John Sykes Chair of the House of Laity of the Diocesan Synod.

Please do continue to hold this process in your prayers.

Letter from +Steven

“We received the formal approval in late December from the Dioceses Commission to move ahead and appoint the next Bishop of Reading. The Church of England guidelines on the process followed when appointing Area Bishops is here. We will be following this guidance closely. Please would you keep this appointment in your prayers in the coming months, both privately and publicly. We are together seeking the person whom God is calling to this vital ministry in the life of the Diocese.

I am in the process of appointing an Advisory Panel. This will include an Area Dean and Lay Chair from the Archdeaconry, wider representatives from the Diocese and an external consultant. I will publish the names of the Advisory Group when the process is complete. The role of the Advisory Group is to share in the process of shortlisting and interview and to advise me on the appointment. I will chair the panel.

A process of consultation has now begun. Notices will go on the Diocesan website and in the Church Press this week inviting both comments on possible candidates and the needs of the Diocese and the Archdeaconry. Please see this letter as your invitation to comment on what is needed or to suggest candidates. Please email or write to me in the normal way and indicate if your comments are confidential to me or can be shared at some point with the wider group. The consultation process ends on 15 February. I will also be meeting with the Area Deans, separately with the Lay Chairs and holding a number of other face-to-face consultations in January to listen to their views. By all means, feed your own insights into the process through the Area Deans and Lay Chairs. There will be written and face to face consultation with civic, ecumenical and other faith leaders across Berkshire.

The draft role description will then be finalised in the light of that consultation. I will draw up a long list of candidates in dialogue with Caroline Boddington, the Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments. Normally most but not all of the candidates will already be on the national list of people considered ready for appointment to this kind of role.

The Advisory Panel will meet, pray and draw up a short list of candidates for interview. The Archbishop of Canterbury is also consulted at this point. The proceedings of the Advisory Panel and the names of candidates are of course confidential. We aim to meet with candidates over two days in May. There is then a process of putting the name of the preferred candidate forward for nomination to the Crown through the Prime Minister’s office. There usually is quite a long gap between the interview process and announcement while all of this happens. If all goes well, we should be able to make the name of the candidate known at some point over the summer months.

It is possible that the person appointed may already be in episcopal orders, as Bishop Andrew was. However, this is unusual. We would, therefore, be looking towards the consecration of the new Bishop of Reading (provisionally) on Tuesday 19 November (consecration dates are fixed many months in advance). By all means, pencil this date into your diary. There will then be a service of welcome into the Diocese in Reading Minster in the few weeks following.

Please do hold all of those involved in the appointment in your prayers as we seek the person of God’s calling to be the next Bishop of Reading.

With kind regards