On Saturday 26th February 2022 the Bishop reported to the Council of Advice meeting at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Great Barr, the following:

“Provincial Synod 2023. Next years Original Province Synod will take place in Orlando, Florida, USA, from 9th – 13th October. I will, Dv, be attending and have also accepted preaching engagements in ACC parishes in the USA at the same time. I will be absent from the Diocese from 22nd September to 16th December 2023. The Archbishop has given me his permission to be absent from the Diocese during this period, which is partly due to the necessity of coinciding my trip with Cunard’s planned transatlantic crossings.

In anticipation of the above, and in recognition of some shorter periods when I will be outside the UK in the coming 18 months, I have decided that the time has come for me to formalise the Venerable Raymond Thompson’s position as the senior clergyman in the Diocese, and the full confidence I have in him, by appointing him Vicar General. He will retain the office of Archdeacon.

In simple terms, when I am within the Diocese, he will be Archdeacon and when I am absent, he will be Vicar General and act as my eyes, ears, and voice in the Diocese.  Father Thompson has therefore relinquished  two other offices he also holds, the first is Dean of the South the other of Chaplain for the Anglican Catholic Fellowship in the Southern Deanery. I have decided to appoint Father Andrew Scurr to both of those roles and he has kindly agreed to accept.

The appointments are immediate, but I will formally induct them at the forthcoming Diocesan Synod on 30th April this year.

I am also pleased to say I gave the Council advance notice of my decision to award at Synod, my 2022 Bishop’s Award for Exemplary Lay Service, to Mr Michael Smales.”