Our first meeting of the Bath and Wells 'Vacancy in See' (you've got to love the names) committee is this weekend, the start of a 7 month process to discern/choose the next Bishop of Bath and Wells.
There's a good explanation of the process here, and this gives you some idea of the composition: a blend of General Synod reps, ex officio places, elected clergy and lay reps (including me), and people appointed by Bishops staff for 'balance'. I fear that, at 43 and 364 days come Saturday, I'll be the youngest person on the committee, but hopefully I'm wrong about that.
Stage 1 is drawing up a 'Statement of Needs' for the Diocese, we then team up with the Crown Nominations Commission to canvas opinion, before going on to consider specific names.
It's all a bit of a new experience, if you're the praying type please pray for us (and the various other ViS groups also going through the same process, such as Durham). A lot of it will be confidential, but I'm hoping to blog a bit about the process just in case that opens a few helpful windows for people wondering how on earth it all works.
Having taken a few soundings already, it's interesting to hear a cross section of folks saying largely the same thing about the kind of Bishop we need. I then ran into someone this evening who recalled a Cafe Service planning meeting where we debated whether to play 'Pin the Fish on the Bish' with our visiting suffragan (2nd in command) bishop to illustrate a Bible story. I think we decided not to, but it was close. Puts it all in perspective......