The third day of the electoral college to elect a new Bishop of Swansea ended without a result. No candidate was able to secure the necessary two-thirds majority vote of the College during its full three-day meeting at St Mary’s Church in Swansea. The Church in Wales indicated that the decision will now be taken by the Bench of Bishops in due course.
The President of the Electoral College, Bishop Andy John, said the appointment would be high on the Bishops’ agenda:
“Whenever we have engagements like this and there is rigorous debate and close engagement, a decision is a very difficult thing to achieve. As the College hasn’t come to one mind, it has asked the Bench of Bishops to take responsibility for the next appointment. So that is now very high on our agenda. We will be consulting together, both with the diocese and amongst ourselves, in the hope we can provide for the diocese someone who can take it forward. I am really confident that we will be able to do that soon.”
The meeting of the College follows the retirement in May of the Archbishop of Wales, John Davies who was also the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon. The new bishop will be the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon, an area stretching south to the coast of the Gower and north into much of mid-Wales. The bishop is based in Brecon.
The Electoral College was made up of 45 people representing all six Welsh dioceses. Its discussions were confidential, with candidates for election being nominated at the meeting and voted on by secret ballot. Its meeting began on Wednesday, 1 September, and ended on its third and final day on Friday, 3 September 3
In February 2017, the three days’ deliberations of the Electoral College also concluded without any of the prospective candidate for Bishop of Llandaff receiving the requisite two-thirds majority of votes.