THE next stage in the process of appointing the future Bishop of Gloucester takes place later this month with a public meeting.

Members of the public are invited to participate in an open public meeting and consultation on September 22 in the Chapter House of Gloucester Cathedral at 7pm.

The meeting will provide everyone with the opportunity to put forward their views and expectations of what they would like the future Bishop of Gloucester to bring to the diocese.

The meeting will be chaired by the Venerable Robert Springett, Archdeacon of Cheltenham and chair of the diocesan’s Vacancy in See Committee.

The Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments and the Prime Minister’s Secretary for Appointments will also be there to listen to the views put forward.

Archdeacon Robert said: “The open hearing is a really important opportunity for anyone who wishes to express their views of what they require from their future bishop.”

The Vacancy in See Committee will meet again the day after the public meeting to finalise the diocesan Statement of Needs and to elect six committee members to serve on the Crown Nomination Commission (CNC), the group which will conduct interviews and ultimately nominate a candidate for the role of Bishop of Gloucester.

The Bishop of Gloucester is a significant figure, the Chief Pastor of all who are in the diocese, which covers the county of Gloucestershire and parts of neighbouring counties.

It runs from the Welsh border in the west to Lechlade in the east and from beyond Chipping Campden in the north to Chipping Sodbury in the south.

It is home to over 600,000 people, served by some 305 parishes, 390 churches and 116 church schools.

The process for finding the next Bishop of Gloucester will take just under a year with an announcement expected in late spring 2015.