Appointments Secretary appointed

Jan 14, 2022 by

Letter to The Editor, Church Times:

Sir, — I was astonished to discover that the new Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments has already been selected merely two months after the announcement of the vacancy, and that the new post-holder has emerged from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s own staff.

I do not recall seeing this post advertised in the Church Times or elsewhere. It appears to have been made available only internally and briefly. The contrast between this and the open and transparent recruitment process for the new Anglican Communion Office Secretary General, which was advertised over a period of weeks for prayerful consideration and sharing widely, is marked.

Both posts are vital at this crucial juncture for our Church and our Communion. Both appointments will, no doubt, be hugely challenging professionally and personally, and both can be performed optimally only when there is trust, built on confidence in the appointment, and in the integrity of its process.

How can the Church be confident that we have the best possible person for this position without looking outside the National Church Institutions’ narrow pool of candidates? I am all for the development and promotion of our servant-hearted staff. Nevertheless, for such an influential appointment, transparency and accountability are essential; how has this process reflected the proposals made in From Lament to Action?

I am a recently elected member of the General Synod Appointments Committee, which has guidelines to ensure that “the procedure to be followed should be clear and known.” Why has the person responsible for our most senior clerical appointments been chosen through such an unclear and unknown process? Is this the standard now for church appointments?

It is important that the process for this appointment is made transparent, so that, if it is found wanting, it could be run again. In this way, any resulting appointments would not be affected by lack of confidence in this post and this process.

Lay member of General Synod

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