The Vacancy in See Committee meets when the office of Diocesan Bishop becomes vacant (or it is known that it will soon be vacant).
Because of the variety of roles which diocesan bishops have locally and nationally, the choice is not made by representatives of the diocese alone.
Diocesan representatives work with representatives of the Church of England as a whole, through the Crown Nominations Commission. HM The Queen, as advised by the Prime Minister, is also part of the appointment process.
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.
To elect six diocesan representatives to the Crown Nominations Commission.
The Committee only meets when there is a vacancy, but there is a requirement to have a Vacancy in See Committee in place at all times; the committee can’t be elected once the existence of a vacancy is known.
Membership of the current Committee will run to 31 December 2021. As far as possible membership must be equally spread between clergy and laity.