Appointing a new bishop

With the retirement of Bishop Peter in May, the diocese is now looking to the future and taking the necessary steps to appoint the next Bishop of Bath and Wells.

Children clasping hands

A bishop for children and young people

Children and young people are invited to find out more about the appointment of the new bishop and to share their views.

A view of Somerset with Glastonbury Tor

Have your say

Your views are important to us. Find out how you can share them with us when the consultation exercise opens later today.

Child's hands clasped in prayer

Join us in prayer

Join us in prayer as we seek to identify the next Bishop of Bath and Wells.

The appointment of a new bishop is made by Her Majesty the Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, following an established process which involves representatives from the diocese, the archbishops and national representatives from General Synod.

Throughout the process there will be opportunities for people to get involved and share their thoughts on what the diocese needs from a new bishop. The diocese will undertake a consultation over the next couple of months and in mid-September the Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary and the Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary will hold a public meeting, where all can contribute.

Throughout this time, if have any queries about the process or views you wish to contribute please email:

Within the diocese, the process is taken forward by the Vacancy in See Committee, a cross-section of people from across the diocese, which has two main tasks:

About the process

  • To consult, discern and prepare a diocesan Statement of Needs, a document which reflects the hopes and challenges for the ministry of the next bishop and to portray what is distinctive about the Diocese of Bath and Wells.
  • To elect six representatives to join the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) which is responsible for the actual interviews process.

Simon Hill, Archdeacon of Taunton and Chair of the Vacancy in See Committee says, “In preparing the Statement of Needs, the committee will be listening: listening to God including at meetings of the Committee and sub groups, reflecting on the passage of Scripture the diocese has focused on this year – Colossians 3 v 12-17, also listening to the church and the world seeking the views of people across the diocese.  Everyone, young and old, church going and non-church going, will be invited to share their thoughts through surveys and consultation. This will not be the only opportunity to contribute.  You may wish to use the email address above for any comments or questions you have.”

In addition to the diocesan consultation this summer and the public consultation in September, the Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary and the Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary will meet with various representatives of the church and community in Somerset.  Details will be publicised later.

The Statement of Needs will be prepared by November and when that is complete, six members of the Vacancy in See Committee will be elected to sit on the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC), alongside the archbishops and six representatives from General Synod.

Chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the CNC, is responsible for interviewing the potential candidates before a recommendation is sent to Her Majesty the Queen.

Archdeacon Simon adds, “Selecting a bishop is a long and complex process following a national timetable and it envisaged that interviews will take place in the spring of 2022, but in the meantime I would encourage everyone to share their views and ask their questions throughout the process as we look forward to the time when we welcome our new bishop.”


The Vacancy in See Committee will be providing a number of prayers as we endeavour to discern where God is leading us and who God is calling to us. At this time we ask for you to pray:

for Bishop Peter as he begins his retirement
for Bishop Ruth as acting diocesan bishop until the appointment of a new bishop
for the work of the Vacancy in See Committee
for corporate discernment for the diocese at this time.

You may wish to use this prayer:

God of love,
lead us through this time of vacancy.
Guide all those involved in the appointment process,
Give us all ears to listen, eyes to see,
hearts to pray and minds to think,
placing the needs of others before ourselves,
always seeking your will and  your kingdom. Amen

Key dates

  • July/August – diocesan consultation exercise
  • September – public meeting with Archbishops' Appointments Secretary and the Prime Minister's Appointments Secretary
  • November - Statement of Needs finalised and diocesan representatives for the CNC elected
  • Spring 2022 - Interviews

Who to contact



Vacancy in See Committee
What is the role of the Vacancy in See Committee and who is on it?
Open Vacancy in See Committee