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7 Feb, 2022 17:06

Church may create ‘Brexit’ & ‘Covid’ bishops – reports

Clerics plan new full-time cabinet-style posts in a major shake-up, media reveals
Church may create ‘Brexit’ & ‘Covid’ bishops – reports

The Church of England is weighing up plans to overhaul the way it operates. Its new approach would see the creation of non-geographical episcopal roles as part of “significant changes to the shape, structure and number of dioceses and bishops,” according to a report in The Times on Monday.

The full-time, cabinet-style appointments would presumably include ‘Covid’ and ‘Brexit’ bishops.

The ideas were apparently brought forward as part of a consultation commissioned by the archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishop of London.

Leaders in the Church could be given full-time cabinet-style roles such as "Brexit bishop" or "Covid bishop" allowing them to serve as spokesmen on women or on political and societal matters. 

If adopted, the makeover would also see the ecclesiastical map of England redrawn, through mergers among 42 dioceses, the creation of new dioceses for city-based bishops, and the appointment of senior "regional" bishops. The regional bishops would oversee ecclesiastical operations in the greater areas.

Tory MP Michael Fabricant is among those to comment on the suggestions, noting that the Church could begin to resemble an opposition party.

This seems an interesting innovation – it is like an opposition political party appointing shadow ministers,” Fabricant told the Daily Mail on Monday.

“The consequences could be not what the Church of England had hoped for,” he added.

The Church of England was formed in 1530 by Henry VIII after the continental Pope refused to annul his marriage to his first wife Catherine of Aragon. There are more than 100 million followers of Anglicanism around the world, making it one of the largest Christian denominations. Queen Elizabeth II is the supreme governor of the Church.