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.
Under the Cathedrals Measure 2021, all English Cathedrals are required to become charities registered with the Charity Commission and this consultation is a part of that process.
What will change, and how does this apply to this Cathedral?
Our Constitution and Statutes are important legal documents which set out how the Cathedral is best governed.
All cathedrals in England are required to prepare a new set of Constitution 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.
The change does not impact or affect the services that the cathedral provides to its worshippers and visitors.
We are aiming to be registered as a charity in January 2024. To successfully register, we need to conduct a formal consultation exercise on our proposed new Constitution and Statutes.
What has happened so far?
Blackburn Cathedral has, with the support and advice of legal advisors, drafted our new Constitution and Statutes. We have gathered detailed feedback from the Cathedral Chapter, the Bishop of Blackburn, the Cathedral Council and from the Church Commissioners. We are now embarking on a wider consultation before our final submission to the Charity Commission later in the Autumn.
Our proposed new Constitution and Statutes reflect our new legal status as a charity. They enable a greater variety of people to be involved in our governance. More lay people will serve voluntarily alongside the Dean and our Residentiary Canons on the Chapter, our governing body, and its committees. There will be a new Nominations Committee advising the Chapter on the recruitment of the non-executive members of the Chapter and its committees.
How can you help?
Please take the time to review the proposed new documents.