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Upcoming Consecrations, Elections and Consents in The Episcopal Church

January 19, 2010
Office of Public Affairs
The Governance of The Episcopal Church: This information is another in an ongoing series discussing the governance of The Episcopal Church. Also, Episcopal Church lingo and terms are used; check the websites listed at the end for any necessary explanations.

In the next four months, The Episcopal Church will witness the consecration of four bishops, the election of five bishops, and the consent process for six bishops-elect.

“The first part of 2010 – between January 1 and April 30 – is a busy time for The Episcopal Church,” commented the Rev. Canon Dr. Charles K. Robertson, canon to the Presiding Bishop. “In the past few months, several dioceses have held elections in which they sought to discern on the local level the persons whom they believed God was calling to be their bishops. Now in the consent process, the next step of that discernment process is in the hands of the larger Church.”


Four consecrations for diocesan bishops, some still pending successful completion of the canonical consent process, are slated during the first four months of 2010. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori plans to officiate at all the consecrations.

January 23 – Diocese of Georgia, the Rev. Scott A. Benhase

February 13 – Diocese of Minnesota, the Rev. Brian N. Prior

April 10 – Diocese of Oregon, the Rev. Dr. Michael Joseph Hanley

April 17 – Diocese of Connecticut, the Rev. Dr. Ian Douglas


During January – April, five bishop elections are scheduled:

March 20 – Diocese of Wyoming

March 24 – Federal Ministries

March 24 – Navajoland

April 9 – Diocese of Alaska

April 24 – Diocese of Rio Grande

Consent Process

The canonical consent process is currently underway for four diocesan bishops and two bishops suffragan who were elected in the latter part of 2009. The deadlines for those processes are:

April 9: Diocese of Connecticut, the Rev. Dr. Ian T. Douglas

May 5: Diocese of Oregon, the Rev. Dr. Michael Joseph Hanley

May 5: Diocese of Los Angeles, the Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool

May 8: Diocese of Louisiana, the Very Rev. Morris K. Thompson

May 8: Diocese of Los Angeles, the Rev. Dr. Diane Jardine Bruce

May 8: Diocese of Upper South Carolina, the Rev. W. Andrew Waldo

A recap of the process

Upon election, the successful candidate is a Bishop-Elect. Following some procedural matters including examinations, formal notices are then sent to bishops with jurisdiction (diocesan bishops only) with separate notices to the standing committees of each of the dioceses in The Episcopal Church. These notices require their own actions and signatures.

In order for a Bishop-Elect to become a bishop, Canon III.11.4 (a) of The Episcopal Church mandates that a majority of diocesan bishops AND a majority of diocesan standing committees must consent to the Bishop-Elect”s ordination as bishop. These actions – done separately – must be completed within 120 days from the day notice of the election was sent to the proper parties.

If the Bishop-Elect receives a majority (at least 50% plus 1) of consents from the diocesan bishops as well as a majority from the standing committees, the Bishop-Elect is one step closer. Following a successful consent process, ordination and celebration are in order.

However, if the majority of the diocesan bishops do not consent, and/or the majority of the standing committees do not consent, the Presiding Bishop, in accordance with Canon III.11.5, is required to declare the election null and void. In those cases, a person elected by the diocese will not be ordained.

(See When Is A Bishop A Bishop?: )

The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations. The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Diocese of Alaska

Diocese of Connecticut

Diocese of Georgia

Diocese of Los Angeles

Diocese of Louisiana

Diocese of Minnesota

Diocese of Oregon

Diocese of Rio Grande

Diocese of Upper South Carolina

Diocese of Wyoming

Federal Ministries


The Episcopal Church: