A diocese so good, they named it twice . . .

General Synod this week voted against a measure that would have allowed the diocese to be officially called The Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales.

The measure had called for the option of calling a diocese after either a geographical area or the see of the bishop.

General Synod member, the Revd Paul Ayers (Pudsey), said, “If dioceses are named after areas and then the area changes, you'd have to keep changing the name, whereas the Diocese of Leeds doesn't mean "the Diocese consisting of Leeds" but "the Diocese overseen by the bishop whose seat is in Leeds".

Bishop Nick said, "We need to bear in mind the perception of those outside the church (who might find our nomenclature confusing or unclear)".

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said that the Dioceses Commission had already given the flexibility of both names for the diocese, so new legislation wasn’t necessary.

The House of Bishops and the House of Laity voted in favour of the measure, but it was lost in the House of Clergy by 66 votes to 34.

So, it continues to be the case that, while the diocese can be known informally as the Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales, it is officially the Diocese of Leeds – and Bishop Nick can only be known as the Bishop of Leeds.

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