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Consultation under way on biggest shake-up to how Ely Cathedral is managed for 20 years

A consultation has begun on changes to the way Ely Cathedral is governed.

Consultation on changing the constitution and statutes is under way, following the royal assent given to the Cathedrals Measure 2021 after it passed through the General Synod of the Church of England and Parliament.

Ely Cathedral. Picture: Geoff Robinson Photography
Ely Cathedral. Picture: Geoff Robinson Photography

The measure introduces significant reforms to the governance of cathedrals and was last reviewed more than 20 years ago.

The key features are:

  • A simplified governance structure - cathedrals are governed by three bodies: a council, a chapter and a college of canons, but under the new measure, a single body of trustees – the chapter – will be responsible for overseeing the cathedral.
  • Registered charity status - although treated as charitable for tax purposes, until now cathedrals have not been registered with or regulated by the Charity Commission. The new Measure will make them registered charities. The church commissioners will also retain a limited oversight role.
  • Modernised constitutional arrangements - cathedrals will have statutory finance and audit and risk committees, a nominations committee to recruit trustees, minimum proportions of non-executive and lay membership, new senior management and delegation arrangements, and modern policies covering areas such as conflict of interest management and grant giving.

The draft documents can be read at https://www.elycathedral.org/.

Comments on them can be made until 5.30pm on Friday, September 16.

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