Bradford Cathedral is reviewing its Constitution and Statutes. 

Under the Cathedrals Measure 2021, all English Cathedrals are required to become charities registered with the Charity Commission and the consultation is a part of this process. 

Why is this happening?

In 2017, a Church of England working group reviewed and made recommendations on the governance and regulation of all cathedrals. These recommendations formed the basis of the new Cathedrals Measure 2021 which was passed by the General Synod in 2018 and received Royal Assent in 2021.

What will change, and how does this apply to Bradford Cathedral?

 All cathedrals in England are required to prepare a new set of Constitutions and Statutes and must also apply to the Charity Commission of England and Wales (‘the Charity Commission’) for registration as a charity, supported by the Church Commissioners. Once registered by the Charity Commission, the cathedral will be co-regulated by the Church Commissioners and the Charity Commission.

Some of the key changes for Bradford Cathedral are:

  • As a result of the Charity Commission registration, members of the Chapter will be subject to the oversight of the Charity Commission, rather than just the Church Commissioners
  • The three bodies that currently form the governing corporation of Bradford Cathedral – Chapter, Cathedral Council and the College of Canons – will change. Chapter will be reconstituted as the sole governing and oversight body for the Cathedral
  • The Cathedral Council will cease to exist and the College of Canons will no longer be part of the “body corporate” nor have any formal governance role.

The executive members of the Chapter will be:

  • the Dean
  • the residentiary canons

Non-executive members of the Chapter will be:

  •  whichever other persons are appointed or elected in accordance with the revised Constitution.

The Chapter must have more non-executive members than executive members and at least two-thirds of the non-executive members must be lay persons. The Chapter must have at least eight members but no more than twelve.

The Bishop is required to appoint a Senior Non- Executive Member (SNEM) who will be the Vice-Chair of the Chapter.

The Cathedral is required to form a Nominations Committee which will have Terms of Reference drafted by the Church Commissioners. Its responsibility will be to nominate individuals to the Bishop and the Dean to be considered for appointment to the Chapter and its committees. There will be two further required Chapter committees – Finance Committee and Risk & Audit Committee. We are seeking new members of all these groups. Chapter is also able to form additional committees as it feels appropriate.

Members of the congregation may be elected to Chapter and the Nominations Committee will work carefully to encourage and support those from our congregation who wish to be considered for appointment as trustees and committee members, based on their particular skills and experience. The Nominations Committee will also, as a priority, consider how it can achieve a fully diverse and inclusive governance structure and one which reflects our community, specifically including those from under-represented backgrounds.

The new Constitution and Statutes have been drafted with the help of expert ecclesiastical lawyers using templates provided and approved by the Church Commissioners.  The Bishop of Leeds, the Cathedral Council, Chapter, the Church Commissioners and the Charity Commissioners have all seen and are content with the drafted documents, subject to anything arising from the public consultation.

Viewing the Constitution and Statutes

Printed copies are available for viewing at:

Bradford Cathedral, 1 Stott Hill, Bradford, BD1 4EH; Mon to Sat – 10.00am to 4.00pm.

The consultation is now open and will close at 5pm on Friday 12 May 2023.

If you have any comments, please forward these, by 5pm on Friday 12 May, to:

Andy McCarthy

Chief Operating  

Bradford Cathedral, 1 Stott Hill, Bradford, BD1 4EH – 01274 777720

Thank you for your participation in this important consultation about our future  

The Very Revd Andy Bowerman

Dean of Bradford


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