Diocese of Springfield announces three finalists for bishop

Posted Oct 19, 2021

[Diocese of Springfield] Clergy and lay delegates from across the Diocese of Springfield, which encompasses central and southern Illinois, gathered Oct. 16 to narrow a slate of nine nominees to three final candidates for the 12th bishop of Springfield. On Dec. 11, delegates will gather at the Electing Synod to vote for the next bishop.

The final three candidates are (in alphabetical order):

  • The Very Rev. Brian Kendall Burgess, Diocese of New Jersey
  • The Rev. Mary Ann Hill, Diocese of Oklahoma
  • The Rev. Scott Allen Seefeldt, Diocese of Milwaukee

In order for an election to take place, a candidate must receive a simple majority vote in both orders (votes from clergy and laity are counted separately) on a single ballot. Balloting will continue with members of each order voting until a bishop is elected. After the election, a majority of diocesan bishops and a majority of diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect’s ordination and consecration as a bishop.

The consecration of the new bishop is scheduled to take place on May 21, 2022, in Springfield, with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to act as chief consecrator.

As the Dec. 11 Electing Synod approaches, additional opportunities for the candidates and the diocese to discern a call to the diocese will include video interviews which will be made available on the diocese’s website. Members of the diocese will have the opportunity to meet each candidate Nov. 9-12 during in-person question-and-answer sessions.

The next bishop will succeed Bishop Daniel Hayden Martins, who was elected in 2011 and retired June 30, 2021. Since his retirement, the Standing Committee has been the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese and will be until the consecration of the 12th bishop. The Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, established in 1877, is comprised of 33 congregations and nearly 4,000 members.