Church of England approves new Diocese of Leeds

A new Diocese of Leeds has been approved by the Church of England's parliamentary body to replace the current Dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds, and Wakefield.

The new diocese was backed by the General Synod in York on Monday night and will serve West Yorkshire and the Dales.

It will be headed by a Bishop of Leeds, and supported by four area bishops of Bradford, Huddersfield, Ripon and Wakefield.

The Cathedrals of Bradford, Ripon, and Wakefield will be the cathedrals of the new diocese but there is the possibility in the future of the Bishop of Leeds to turn Leeds Minster into a pro-cathedral.

Once the scheme has been confirmed by the Queen, the Archbishop of York will set a date for it to come into existence.

Synod also approved a resolution establishing a Vacancy in See Committee for the new diocese so that the process for appointing the first Bishop of Leeds could begin.

Professor Michael Clarke, chair of the Dioceses Commission that prepared the scheme, welcomed the decision of the Synod.

"Synod's historic decision confirms the Commission's judgement that the radical creation of a new diocese centred on Leeds offered the best way of meeting the mission challenges facing the Church in West Yorkshire," he said.