Page last updated at 10:51 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 11:51 UK

Decision day for Bishop of Bangor

Bishop of Bangor electoral college members
Members of the electoral college are locked in discussions for a third day

Members of the Church in Wales are locked in discussions for a third day on who will take over as the new Bishop of Bangor.

It is the final day of deliberations for the 46-member electoral college.

Among those expected to be considered are the Archdeacons of Bangor, Meurig Llwyd, and St Davids, John Holdsworth.

Also mentioned is the Very Reverend Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, who could become the first openly gay clergyman to become a bishop in Wales.

If the electoral college fails to reach agreement, the decision on the appointment of the 81st bishop for the diocese will pass to the Bench of Bishops in Wales.

Traditionally, the bishop of Bangor is a Welsh-speaker and will serve an area stretching across north-west Wales from Holyhead to Llanidloes, Powys.

The election follows the death in June of the Right Reverend Anthony Crockett who served as bishop from 2004.


The electoral college tasked with making the choice is made up of representatives from all six Welsh dioceses including the four other Welsh diocesan bishops.

As the 'home' diocese Bangor is represented by six lay people and six clergy with the remaining five dioceses each represented by three lay people and three clergy.

Between them they confidentially nominate and vote on candidates, in the meeting that takes place behind the locked doors of the cathedral.

Any candidate receiving two-thirds of the votes of those present will be declared bishop-elect and will have 28 days to accept the position.

Bangor cathedral
The electoral college started meeting at Bangor cathedral on Tuesday

Once a decision is made, the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, will unlock and open the west door of the Cathedral and announce the name from the doorstep.

One of the more controversial names in the running for the role of bishop is the openly gay Very Rev Jeffrey John.

Welsh speaker Dr John entered into a civil partnership with his long-term partner in 2006 but leads a celibate life and is said to be in contention for the post.

He hit the headlines five years ago after he was forced to withdraw his acceptance of the post of suffragan Bishop of Reading following a storm of protest from conservatives in the Anglican Church.

He was subsequently made Dean of St Albans. Earlier this year Dr Morgan said he would be prepared to consecrate a gay bishop.

The post of bishop of Bangor is used to controversy after Mr Crockett became the first bishop in the UK to have been divorced and remarried.

Bishop of Bangor due to be chosen
08 Oct 08 |  North West Wales
Death of the bishop of Bangor, 62
30 Jun 08 |  North West Wales
First divorced bishop appointed
05 May 04 |  North West Wales

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