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Bishop's Council

Diocesan staff sat in a meeting room at desks with laptopsBishop’s Council is the operational governance body for our diocese - the board of trustees that provides oversight of the diocesan strategy and aligns resources, both financial and people, to ensure we can all fulfil that strategy. 

One membership representing several bodies

View the list of people currently on the Bishop’s Council.

Bishop’s Council in this diocese has the remit of several diocesan bodies in one:

  1. First and foremost, as the Bishop’s Council, it’s an advisory body to the Bishop of Guildford. This is an important role and sets the tone for all the other responsibilities of Bishop’s Council members. This is because the whole diocesan community is under ‘episcopal’ leadership, which means ultimate authority rests with the Bishop in Synod.
  2. Secondly, the same members are also the standing committee of Diocesan Synod, undertaking business on behalf of Diocesan Synod in between their meetings.
  3. Everyone on the Bishop’s Council is also a director of the Guildford Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF), which is the incorporated charitable body that legally owns all diocesan assets, employs diocesan staff, is custodian trustee of parish assets; has responsibility to raise income (eg parish share) and authorise expenditure. It is also required to present a budget and annual report to Diocesan Synod.
  4. The Bishop’s Council members are also the Mission & Pastoral Committee, the body that considers and approves all proposals for pastoral re-organisation and takes a lead on strategic pastoral and mission issues across our diocese.
  5. And finally, the same membership also fulfils the functions of the Parsonages Board, providing approvals on all property investment and the provision of clergy housing.

Bishop’s Council is chaired by the Bishop of Guildford, with a sub-section of the agenda for the Mission & Pastoral Committee chaired by the Bishop of Dorking. 

Bishop’s Council Committees, Boards and Groups 

Bishop’s Council is supported in its work by the following:

Audit & Finance Committee

This group leads on the oversight of our budget setting, our overall financial management and the planning and reviewing of our audit process each year. It is chaired by the Chair of the DBF, with our Director of Finance as Secretary.  Its current members are: 

• Steve Roberts, Chair of DBF & Chair of Finance Committee

• Geraldine Newbold, Diocesan Secretary

• Malcolm Twigger-Ross, Finance Director

• Graham Everness 

• Andrew French

• Sue Heavens

• Dominic Maher

• The Venerable Martin Breadmore, Archdeacon of Dorking

• Archdeacon of Surrey (Vacancy)

• Steve Collins, Deputy Diocesan Secretary

Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (DAC)

Our DAC is responsible for considering, evaluating and recommending all faculty applications to the Chancellor of the diocese. The committee also takes a more general advisory and supporting role in helping parishes to consider how best to use and care for their church buildings. The Chair is appointed by the Bishop and Chancellor, following consultation with the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division in London. Our DAC Secretary supports the work of the Committee.

Diocesan Board of Education (DBE)

The Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) is the statutory body which is responsible for promoting Christian education across the Diocese of Guildford. 

Under the DBE Measure 2021, the DBE provides oversight and guidance to 83 Church of England schools and 6 academy trusts on all matters related to the Christian character of its Church schools. This includes support for Religious Education, collective worship, school effectiveness, school estates and legal matters. 

The DBE reports annually to Diocesan Synod and implements its education strategy and policies through the work of its officers, the Education team, who are based at Church House, Guildford. 

Supporting documents



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