Suffragan bishops: from selection to ordination & consecration

Following on from our post Bishops: from announcement to installation, it seemed timely to summarize the stages leading to the installation of a suffragan bishop; and, for completeness, those relating to an assistant bishop are included. Pre-Reformation, the term ‘suffragan’ referred to diocesan bishops in relation to their metropolitan, but became to be used additionally to refer to the bishops of such sees in relation to their diocesans.

The open-ended nature of the duties defined in Canon C 20 Of bishops suffragan, below, permits their employment in a number of different roles, and contrasts with the more focused role of the diocesan in Canon C 18 Of diocesan bishops: recent examples of the former are the reorganization within the Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales (shortly to be renamed the Diocese of Leeds) and as a result of the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests (Resolution of Disputes Procedure) Regulations 2014. In both circumstances, it has proved convenient to revive a dormant suffragan see. Continue reading