The Rt Revd Stephen Conway appointed as new ELS Vice Chairman

November 20, 2019

The Ecclesiastical Law Society is delighted to announce the appointment of The Rt Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely as its new Vice Chairman. Bishop Stephen takes over the role previously held by The Revd Canon John Rees who has stood down after serving the Society for many years as both Treasurer and Vice-Chairman.

The Society’s Chairman Professor Mark Hill QC expressed his thanks to Canon Rees for all the work he has done in fostering the work of the Society and in his tight control of its finances. He was delighted to announce Bishop Stephen’s appointment, which takes immediate effect.

“I am delighted to welcome Bishop Stephen as Vice Chairman. He is a towering presence on the Bench of Bishops and in the House of Lords and will bring lustre and energy to the Society’s core task in fostering education in ecclesiastical law amongst clergy and laity. Stephen is a gifted communicator and well-placed to emphasise the importance of canon law to the self-understanding of the Church of England in terms of mission, witness, worship and ecumenism.”

Bishop Stephen takes on this new role at a time when the programme of the Society is expanding with lecture series in London and Leeds, a widely respected Journal and Newsletter, annual conferences and the targeted work of its education committee with a roadshow of seminars on good governance for PCCs. The Society’s conference next March in Southwark will pose the bold question of whether Synodical Government is fit for purpose. Places are still available and can be booked on the Society’s website,

Bishop Stephen welcomed this new role and said “I am very pleased indeed to be taking on this role at such an exciting time in the life of the Ecclesiastical Law Society. The Society has an important role in educating the whole church about the role of canon law in the good ordering of our common life and witness. Questions about how the Church’s structures and processes may best serve our mission are currently the focus of renewed attention, and I am looking forward to being part of the further development of the Society as it seeks to address these in fresh ways.”