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A merged Church of England diocese for West Yorkshire?
Wakefield Cathedral interior
Wakefield Cathedral will be the principal cathedral of the proposed diocese

A new church report proposes the creation of a new merged diocese consisting of the three currently separate areas of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds, and Wakefield.

The 120-page Church of England's Dioceses Commission report is now looking for comments.

The changes outlined in the report are unlikely to be debated by the General Synod before 2013.

The report is described as 'both radical and realistic'.

Area bishops

It proposes the reconfiguration of the three West Yorkshire Dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds, and Wakefield in order to create one new large diocese. Within this new diocese there would be five areas - Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Ripon and Wakefield - each with its own area bishop.

All three of the area's cathedrals Bradford, Wakefield and Ripon will remain. Indeed Wakefield Cathedral will be the principal cathedral of the diocese but the diocesan office should be located in Leeds.

The Dean of Bradford, the Very Revd David Ison, said:

"We welcome the publication of this report, which is part of a long national process to review how the Church of England can be more effective in serving local communities.

"Much has changed since the West Yorkshire dioceses were set up a century and more ago, and historically the Church has adapted its boundaries so that we can better serve each and every community across the country as effectively as possible."

More efficiency

The Church of England's General Synod
The Church of England's General Synod is like the church's 'parliament'

In the time since the present church organisation was set up West Yorkshire has faced many demographic, social and economic challenges and it is hoped any changes will lead to more efficiency.

Any comments submitted about the draft report could lead to the final outcome being different.

In all there 39 recommendations in the report.

The summary and full reports can be found at www.diocom.org/yorkshire/report

Responses to the report can be made by email to: yorkshire.review@c-of-e.org.uk

or to: Mr Sion Hughes Carew
Central Secretariat
Church House
Great Smith Street

Responses are needed by Monday 9 May 2011.


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