Vacancy in See

It was announced in June 2023 that The Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth was to be appointed to the Dean of Windsor and that the diocese would enter period of Vacancy in See from November 5th. The process to appoint an new Bishop of Coventry is now well underway and we hope to keep everyone updated with progress via this page.

There are currently 6 other Diocese in England that are in vacancy and the process to appoint a new Bishop usually takes between 12-24 months. Here are some helpful thoughts as we journey through this process.



17 Jannuary
The Vacancy in See Committee have now had their final meeting on Monday 15 January where they successfully voted six members onto the Crown Nominations Commission and signed off our diocesan Statement of Needs document.

The members elected to the Crown Nomination Commission are confirmed as:

  • The Revd Jonathan Jee
  • Sarah Mount
  • Fr Simon Oakes
  • Tim Pollard
  • Alicia Sampson
  • The Very Revd John Witcombe


Chair of the Vacancy in See Process, Phil Sewards wishes to add a short message:
“My thanks to all the members of the Vacancy in See Committee for their invaluable contribution to this part of the process. I would like to ask everyone across the Diocese to hold our representatives on the CNC in prayer as the next part of the process begins.”

10 January 2024
Over 70 people joined us for our Public Meeting yesterday evening which was hosted online with the Archbishops’ and Prime Minister’s Appointment Secretaries in attendance. It was good to hear from so many diverse voices from across the diocese. This was an opportunity to contribute to the discernment process and inform the appointment secretaries as to the current state of the diocese and what qualities we’re looking for in our next diocesan Bishop.

The Vacancy in See Committee will have their final meeting on Monday 15 January where they will vote six of their members onto the Crown Nominations Committee and sign off the diocesan Statement of Needs document.

The Appointment Secretaries are currently working through a program of consultation meetings with a wide range of people and will be touring the diocese on Monday 15 January before attending the final ViS meeting on the evening.


13 December 2023
Vacancy in See Public Meeting
An invitation to join the process of selecting the next Bishop of Coventry 

The Archbishops’ and Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretaries will hold a public meeting on the evening of Tuesday 9 January, on Zoom, to allow as many people as possible to contribute to the discernment process for a new Diocesan Bishop. They are keen to hear from a wide range of people about the joys and challenges affecting this diocese, and about the qualities they would like to see in a new Bishop.

Register to attend the meeting


15 November 2023
The Statement of Needs Drafting Group had their first workshop in late October as they work hard to produce a statement of needs document which is a fair reflection of our diocese and representative of its people. Please keep them in your prayers as they meet for the second workshop on Monday 20 November where they’ll be discussing the hoped-for qualities in the next Bishop of Coventry as expressed in the diocesan wide poll amongst other sources.

In the new year, the Archbishop’s and the Prime Ministers’ appointment secretaries are meeting with many stakeholders as part of their own extensive listening exercise. You may also wish to take part by attending the public consultation meeting on the evening of Tuesday 9 January 2024.

You can express an interest to attend the public meeting is here.


17 October 2023
The Vacancy in See Committee have agreed to commission a smaller 'drafting group' to facilitate the creation of the Statement of Needs document for the diocese. The group will work together at two workshops which are planned for Monday 23rd October and Monday 20th November. Please keep the drafting group and these workshops in your prayers. 

The Vacancy in See Committee have also created a prayer for their part of the process. The prayer gathers key thoughts and sentiments from the committee's first social gathering.

Heavenly Father,
As we seek to appoint a new Bishop, we pray you would inspire us as we work together.
Help us to be attentive to your promptings during this time of discernment and by your Holy Spirit lead us on a sure patha for we are your servants seeking your divine wisdom.
Help us humbly to see as you see, to lay aside our preconceptions and be open to your plans.
Just as you guided the prophet Samuelb to see more than was apparent in the natural help us too with divine guidance throughout this time of discernment.
Lead us as we pray for your kingdom to come here in our diocese and for Jesus’ name to be honoured.
May grace and reconciliation underlie all we do for our part in this process.
Give us boldness as you draw us to a collective mind for your glory.


aPsalm 143, b1 Samuel 16



09 October 2023
As part of this process we would love to hear as many voices as possible from across the diocese and so we’ve put together a very short poll of three questions that we’d love you to take part in. In Jan 2024 the Archbishops’ and Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretaries will be conducting a more comprehensive consultation exercise which will be another opportunity for engagement with the process.

Diocesan wide Poll - (The poll is now closed)


27 September 2023
The Committee met twice in September as part of the ViS process.
Firstly, an in person getting to know each other social meeting earlier in the month and on Monday 25th the committee met on Zoom with representatives from the Crown Nominations Committee and Downing Street in attendence.The ViS Commitiee s
uccessfully nominated a vice Chair and began to discuss how we would discern the needs of the diocese and on how best to progress with our Statement of Needs document.



Contribute a Prayer
We hope to soak Vacancy in See process in prayer so we would love to feature prayers from many difference voices from across our diocese. Prayers might be featured in the progress updates or even in the eventual Statement of needs document. If you wish to contribute a prayer please email the committee.



The Committee
Our Vacancy in See Committee is made up of ex-officio members and members elected by Diocesan Synod.
Statement of Needs
Diocesan Profile & Consultations
Crown Nominations Commission

Overview Time Table



7 Sep 2023

Preliminary Meeting / Social Meeting of the Diocesan Vacancy in See Committee.

25 Sep 2023

Meeting of the Diocesan Vacancy in See Committee

Oct – Dec 2023

Workshops & Production of the Statement of Needs

9th Jan 2024

Public Consultation Meeting (Evening)

Jan 2024

Individual and Group Consultation Meetings

Jan 2024

Final meeting of the Vacancy in See Committee
Election to the CNC & Statement of Needs Document Sign off.

Feb 2024

CNC welcome Diocesan representatives


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