In April 2022, the Governing Body of Christ Church resolved to commission a review of its governance. The purpose of the Review was to ensure that Christ Church’s statutes, by-laws, and governance arrangements met the needs of the institution in the 21st century. The last comprehensive review of the foundation’s statutes was conducted in 2011. The Review will encompass the governance arrangements of all aspects of Christ Church, including the Cathedral, College, and School. On 15 June 2022, Christ Church announced the appointment of the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve KC to lead the Review.
At a Zoom meeting on 12 November 2022, the Oxford Diocesan Synod considered its response in the Consultation Paper Christ Church – Governance Review. This paper sets out a vision and theological rationale, the historical context and then considers the main issues relevant to the diocese/ Church of England.
This document was “envisaged as the vehicle through which Diocesan Synod might form a view at its November 2022 meeting on the response of the diocese (to be considered by the independent reviewer, alongside the views of the Chapter of Christ Church and other stakeholders including the Church Commissioners)”. A final document will be submitted to the review by early December, with the approval of the Bishop‘s Council (as a Standing Committee of the Synod). Extracts from the Consultation Paper are reproduced here.
The document invited Diocesan Synod invited to conclude that the Diocese should state in its response to the Christ Church Governance Review that:
- It is committed to the continued value and potential of interconnected relationships within the Joint Foundation;
- It is right theologically and ecclesiologically in the circumstances that Christ Church should remain the Cathedral of the diocese, continuing to be prioritized within its charitable objects, and funded in perpetuity, with the associated Choir School and Canon Professors;
- The Ordinary of the Cathedral and Visitor of the Cathedral Chapter should become the Bishop of Oxford, with the Bishop fully involved in the appointment of all future Deans;
- The Dean must be accountable on ecclesiastical matters to the Chapter and not to the governing body of Christ Church;
- The Cathedral should conform to the requirements of the Cathedrals Measure except where its future relationship with Christ Church renders this unrealistic.
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