Vacancy in See

 What is the Vacancy in See Committee?

The Vacancy in See Committee is a permanent committee that meets only when there is the need to discern a new diocesan bishop.  With Bishop Donald's retirement in January this committee has now started this process. 

The Vacancy in See Committee has two main purposes:

  • to provide a Diocesan Profile and Statement of Need  – a description of the Diocese and a statement of what the major challenges and areas of development are, along with the kind of qualities we are seeking in our incoming bishop to help the Diocese meet them.
  • to elect 6 members to the Crown Nominations Commission.

What is the Crown Nominations Commission?

The Crown Nominations Commission is a national group of 14 people - 6 representatives of the Diocesan Vacancy in See Committee, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and 6 members from the General Synod (3 lay and 3 ordained).  The Crown Nominations Committee will discern which candidates are suitable for the role and make a reccomendation to the Prime Minister and then the King. 

Who sits on the Vacancy in See Committee?

Ex officio clergy

Bishop of Brixworth -  John Holbrook

(CHAIR) Dean of Peterborough – Chris Dalliston

Archdeacon of Northampton – Richard Ormston

Archdeacon of Oakham – Alison Booker

General Synod clergy – Mark Lucas (Kettering); Steve Benoy; Morna Simpson (Wellingborough)

Elected clergy

Nick Alexander – Vicar of Moulton

Rob Bewley – Vicar of Christ the King Kettering

Ex officio laity

General Synod laity – Paul Buckingham (Corby); Andrew Presland (Higham); Vicky Brett (Peterborough)

Elected laity Northampton Archdeaconry

Precious Luke -  Reader Emmanuel Northampton

Chris Banks – retired HR Director – Churchwarden Long Buckby; Lay Chair Brixworth Deanery

John Chilver – Parish Safeguarding Officer King’s Sutton

Elected laity Oakham Archdeaconry

Dr Sian Cheverton – GP – member All Saints Oakham

Peter Taylor – retiring Surgeon; Reader St Peter Oundle

Steve Atkins – Churchwarden Christ the King Kettering

Bishop’s Council appointments

Revd Lakshmi Jeffreys – Vicar Wootton

Revd Paula York – Vicar Wellingborough All Saints & All Hallows , Bishop’s Adviser in Women’s Ministry

Dominic Hopkins – Under Sherriff of Northamptonshire

Charlotte Nobbs – Children’s Mission Enabler

How long will the process take?

The Vacancy in See Committee has two meetings in January and February. The Crown Nominations Committee will meet in late Spring and Summer with an announcement expected in the Autumn. 

How can I be involved?

The public zoom consultation meeting

Thank you to all those who attended the public zoom consultation meeting on 18 January. It was very well attended and all your comments have been gratefully received.  If you were unable to attend the meeting please do submit your comments in writing to

Submit your thoughts in writing

Please email your submission to to help shape the Diocesan vision for the new Bishop.


Join others in the Diocese praying for the process.


God our Father, You have welcomed each one of us in Jesus and called us to be His Body in this place; Send us your Holy Spirit, at this time of uncertainty and change, to fill us with vision, energy, and faithfulness in prayer, that we may be true to our calling to bring new life to our communities;  guide us with your heavenly wisdom as we seek to find our new Bishop, that the one who we receive may be a wise and gentle shepherd of your people: ready to serve us with joy, to build us up in faith, and to lead us by example in loving obedience to your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen