Boards, Groups and Committees

Diocesan Synod
The Durham Diocesan Synod is the representative governing body of the Diocese of Durham. Through Diocesan Synod members of the Church of England in Durham work together to take forward the mission and ministry of the Church. In it, Bishops, priests and lay people meet together to discuss the issues facing the Church and to make decisions about its common future. Read more about Diocesan Synod and its membership
Bishop’s Council
The Bishop’s Council also serves as Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee (DMPC) and Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) ie membership is co-terminous across the three bodies. Read more about the functions of the Bishop’s Council and its membership.


Groups and Committees supporting the Bishop’s Council

Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel

The DSAP oversees safeguarding arrangements in the Diocese. It has an independent chair, Mark Gurney. DSAP offers external expertise and challenge to the Diocese on safeguarding matters. It is advised by the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Beth Miller.

Finance Group

The Finance Group’s roles are:

  • to support and advise the Bishop's Council, the Bishop of Durham and Diocesan Secretary in matters relating to strategic financial management and policy
  • to conduct urgent financial business of the Durham Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) between meetings
  • to authorise legal property or investment transactions conducted on the DBF's behalf by the Chair or Executive Officers of the DBF
  • to oversee the preparation of the annual diocesan budget and the accounts for the year past for submission to the DBF
  • to receive and assess regular reports of expenditure and income against budget to act as the DBF’s Human Resources Committee

The members of the Finance Group are:

  • The Revd Tom Brazier
  • The Revd Mark Miller
  • Keith Higgin
  • Colin Price
  • Michael Shepherd
  • Frances Stenlake
  • Margaret Vaughan(Chair)
Investment Committee
The Investment Committee’s role is to manage the Durham Diocesan Board of Finance’s (DBF) investments according to the DBF’s investment policy (including ethical investment) with a view to maximising returns to support diocesan activities; to undertake the role of Houses Committee and Glebe Committee.

The current members of the Investment Committee are:
  • Paul Arnold
  • Stephen Pickering
  • Margaret Vaughan (Chair)
  • Nigel Wyrley-Birch
Audit and Risk Committee
The ARC’s role is to:
  • maintain an oversight of the diocese’s governance and risk management
  • oversee the external audit of the Durham Diocesan Board of Finance’s (DBF) Trustees’ Report and Financial Statements
  • consider internal control and stewardship of the DBF’s resources
  • reports its findings annually to the Bishop’s Council

The ARC has no executive powers or operational responsibilities/duties.

The members of the ARC are:

  • Alice Ambrose-Thurman
  • Paul Chandler
  • David Craig
  • Nigel Jackson
  • Caroline Mulley (Chair)
Closed Churches Uses Panel
The Closed Churches Uses Panel seeks alternative uses for redundant churches. The CCUP’s members are:
  • Archdeacon Bob Cooper (Chair)
  • Archdeacon Rick Simpson
  • Archdeacon Libby Wilkinson
  • The Revd Canon Alec Harding
  • The Revd Dave Tolhurst


Other Groups and Committees

Board of Education
This is a joint Board with the Diocese of Newcastle. For more information about its role and membership, visit its separate website.
The Vacancy-in-See Committee
The Vacancy-in-See Committee is a statutory Committee which has a permanent existence but only meets during a vacancy-in-see (when there is a Bishop’s vacancy).
The role of the Vacancy-in-See Committee is:
  • to prepare a brief description of the Diocese and a statement setting out the desired profile of the new Bishop and to elect
  • the diocesan representatives to the Crown Nominations Commission

The Vacancy-in-See Committee has a mixture of ex officio, nominated and elected members as follows:

  • Bishop of Jarrow
  • Dean of Durham
  • Two Archdeacons (elected by the Archdeacons)
  • Five General Synod Proctors in Convocation
  • Four General Synod Members of the House of Laity
  • Two Diocesan Synod House Chairs
  • Not fewer than two elected lay members (on Electoral Roll in a parish in the Diocese)
  • Not fewer than two elected clergy (beneficed or licensed in the Diocese)
  • Up to four members nominated by Bishop’s Council to cover special interests

The elected members are elected following the creation of each new Diocesan Synod. The elected members of the Committee are to be elected soon. Those members already known are:

  • Bishop Sarah Clark
  • Dean Andrew Tremlett
  • Archdeacon Rick Simpson
  • Archdeacon Libby Wilkinson
  • The Revd Bill Braviner
  • Archdeacon Bob Cooper
  • The Revd Mark Mawhinney
  • The Revd Mark Miller
  • The Revd Chantal Noppen
  • Ali Bianchi
  • Angus Goudie
  • Jamie Harrison
  • Helen Smith
  • The Revd Steph Clark
  • Diocesan Synod Laity House Chair (TBC)
  • Elected clergy members
  • Elected lay members
  • Up to four nominated members
Diocesan Advisory Committee
Read more about the DAC and its membership in the Buildings section.
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