Among the 33 Church Commissioners (who are responsible for the stewardship of over £10bn of funds, dedicated to resourcing the mission and ministry of the Church of England), there are four who are elected from the House of Bishops by the House of Bishops. An election was held in October to fill two vacancies which will occur from 1st January 2024. Bishop Pete agreed to be nominated in this process and was informed on Friday that he had been duly elected.
In his nomination statement, Bishop Pete said:
“Every community in England, from the wealthiest to the most deprived, should have an equal access to the ministry of our Church — and therefore equal access to its financial provision. It is not right if the towns and villages of the south east are better resourced, in terms of stipendiary clergy, than the towns and village of the north west. My commitment is to use this role to seek the greatest possible mitigation of the present inequalities.
“I have served as the Bishop of Sheffield for 6 years and during that time have, I believe, grown to as full an appreciation of the overall economy of the Church of England as any Bishop.
“This process has been accelerated by my role as chair of the Mutuality and Transparency in Finances group, commissioned by the Emerging Church Steering Group, to focus the attention of the Church on the inequalities and disparities which exist between dioceses in the financial underpinning of mission and ministry.
“My basic premise is that every community in England, from the wealthiest to the most deprived, should have an equal access to the ministry of our Church – and therefore an equal access to its financial provision. At present, this is far from the case. It is not right if the towns and villages of the south east are better resourced, in terms of stipendiary clergy, than the towns and villages of the north west. My commitment is to use this role to seek the greatest possible mitigation of the present inequalities.
“I addition to this passion for mutuality and transparency in finances, I would bring a sharp mind, and a capacity to see both the big picture and the fine detail.
“I also believe it is important for one of the Commissioner Bishops to bring the perspective of the Northern Province. In my 36 years of ordained ministry, I have served all but 3 north of Birmingham – and 19 in the Dioceses of Durham, Liverpool and Sheffield. I therefore feel familiar not only with Yorkshire, but with the North East and the North West as well.“
He is now looking forward to the opportunity to act on this pledge, not least as we approach, in 2025, the 40th anniversary of the publication of the extraordinary and formative Faith in the City report.
Among the 33 Church Commissioners, there are four lay people who are elected from the House of Laity of the General Synod. That election has also taken place in October, with our Diocesan Environment Officer Dr Cathy Rhodes being elected.
“I’m thankful for the privilege and opportunity to serve as a Church Commissioner. Please keep me in your prayers as I start the role. I hope some of the role will include building on my work as DEO in our mission to care for God’s Creation and work towards climate justice for all God’s people.”