The Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church says “I would like to thank the Preparatory Committee of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney for all the hard work they undertook as they prayerfully moved through the intricacies of Canon 4 (Of the Election of Bishops to vacant Sees).
“The Committee has conscientiously worked on behalf of both the diocese and the province, taking great care to do all they could to honour the wishes of the diocese in seeking a new Bishop and doing so in the spirit of the Canon.
“Last Thursday (13 July) the Committee reached the conclusion that they did not have the three names required by Canon to present to the diocesan electors, this decision was reached after prayer, thoughtful reflection and much debate. This is not the decision they had hoped to reach but it is one they have taken with confidence, aware that the ministry they are seeking requires to be right for the diocese.
“According to Canon 4 the process will now pass to the College of Bishops on 19th August, the point at which the present Mandate comes to an end (by that date it will no longer be possible to achieve an election of a new Bishop within the 120 day period set out in Canon 4, section 30.)
“The College of Bishops, as the Episcopal Synod, will now be charged with the electoral process and this will also be undertaken with prayer, debate and with love and care for the people of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney.
“A date is not yet known when the appointment of a Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney will be made but I would ask for prayers for the Bishops and the diocese as the process moves on.”
Mandates for the vacant Sees of Brechin and St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane will be issued mid-August.
The Rt Rev Kevin Pearson, Bishop of Argyll & The Isles, will have Episcopal oversight of the Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane during its vacancy.
The Rt Rev Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh, will have Episcopal oversight of the Diocese of Brechin during its vacancy.