Cathedrals Measure 2021 – Public Consultation
In 2021, legislation was passed that creates a new structure for the governance of the cathedrals of the Church of England – The Cathedrals Measure 2021. This is being implemented across all cathedrals over a four year period. We are well advanced with this process at Ripon and I am delighted that we can now...
March 3, 2023
In 2021, legislation was passed that creates a new structure for the governance of the cathedrals of the Church of England – The Cathedrals Measure 2021. This is being implemented across all cathedrals over a four year period. We are well advanced with this process at Ripon and I am delighted that we can now hold this statutory consultation throughout the month of March. This notice gives information about the changes that the measure’s implementation will make here in Ripon Cathedral. The revised Constitution and Statutes can be accessed below:
Ripon Cathedral Consultation Notice
The Chapter of Ripon Cathedral, the cathedral’s governing body, opened a
public consultation on its proposed new Constitution and Statutes – the
governing documents for the cathedral – on Friday 3rd March 2023.
Why is this happening?
• In 2017, following high profile governance issues in a number of cathedrals, the Church of England set up a working party to look at the governance of English cathedrals. The working party’s recommendations formed the basis of new legislation – (the Cathedral Measure), which was approved by the General Synod of the Church of England and came into law in 2021.
How does this apply to Ripon Cathedral?
The 2021 Measure introduced revised provisions for the governance,
management, property and financial affairs of English cathedrals. All cathedrals in
England are required to prepare a new set of Constitutions and Statutes (C&S)
and must also apply to the UK Charity Commission for registration as a charity.
Working to a strict template provided and approved by the Church
Commissioners, the statutory regulator for cathedrals in England, Ripon Cathedral
is working to revise and update its structures, processes and documents in order
to comply with the new Measure.
The current C&S, first approved in 2000 will cease to have legal status at the end
of this process and the new version will apply.
A special provision in the Measure provides for the dissolving of the Ripon
Cathedral PCC, the only cathedral parish PCC in the Church of England.
What will change?
Some of the key changes for Ripon 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 Ripon
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 a new body to be known as,
The Cathedral Consultative Council, will be formed. The College of Canons
will no longer be part of the “body corporate” nor have any formal
• The size, composition and membership of the Chapter will remain the same
• The PCC will cease to exist and a new Chapter committee, the Growth
Committee, will provide for the representation to Chapter of the members
of the Cathedral’s congregations.
The Measure is specific about the size, composition and membership of
Chapter: the Dean and the Residentiary Canons will be Executive Trustees;
the other five members will be Non-Executive Trustees. The Bishop is
required to appoint a Senior Non- Executive Member (SNEM).
There are also rules about the balance of lay and clergy and executive and
non-executive members on Chapter. The chair of the Finance Committee is
now required by law to have recent and relevant financial experience and is
also required to be a trustee so that finance is given a new emphasis on
Chapter. There is also clear emphasis on places being filled by individuals
who it is felt will bring specific skills to the Chapter and its committees.
The Cathedral will have 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 Chapter and its committees. The Chapter will continue to
have a number of committees to further the Cathedral’s mission, as
articulated in the vision strategy, Growing God’s Kingdom 2022-27,
including the Finance Committee and Audit and Risk Committee. All
committee members are appointed by Chapter. Those of the Growth
Committee will be nominated through an election process within the
The Nominations Committee will also consider how the Chapter, in due
course, can achieve a fully diverse and inclusive governance structure and
one which fully reflects our community specifically including those from
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, the Dean, the
Chapter, the Church Commissioners and the Charity Commissioners have all seen
and are content with the drafted documents, subject to anything arising from the
What will happen now?
Everyone who has an interest in Ripon is invited to review and comment on the
proposed new Constitution and Statutes. All comments and representations will
be considered and responded to, as required under Section 32 of the Cathedrals
The consultation can be accessed in the following ways:
Via the Ripon Cathedral Website
Go to www.riponcathedral.org.uk to view the proposed new Constitution and
View a printed copy
Printed copies of the proposed new Constitution and Statutes are available for
inspection Monday – Friday during normal office hours.
After you have seen the proposed new Constitution and Statutes you can leave
• Indicating your approval for the changes, or
• Drawing to the attention of the Cathedral Council (the body responsible for
putting the provisions of the Measure into effect for Ripon Cathedral):
• any matters that you believe have been overlooked, or
• any errors that you believe have occurred, or
• any omissions that you believe have occurred
You should send your comments by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
All responses must be received by 30 March 2023
What happens then?
• Following the Consultation, the Chapter will inform the Church
Commissioners and UK Charity Commission of any changes it wishes make
to the Constitution and Statutes and then seek final approval from those
bodies so that the new Constitution and Statutes can be brought into
• We anticipate that the Cathedral will be registered as a charity with the
Charity Commission, the new Constitution and Statutes in place and new
Chapter and committees formed by 1
st January 2024.
Thank you for your participation in this important consultation about our future.
The Very Revd John Dobson DL
Dean of Ripon
3 March 2023