The door of Bangor Cathedral will be locked on October 7 as a new bishop of the Church in Wales is elected.
Inside, a “college” of 46 people, including the four other Welsh diocesan bishops, will nominate and vote on candidates, for up to three days.
Once a decision is made, the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, will unlock and open the west door of the Cathedral and announce the name of the Bishop-Elect from the doorstep.
The election follows the death of the Rt Rev Anthony Crockett in June, who served as bishop of the diocese from 2004. The new bishop will be the 81st Bishop of Bangor, serving an area stretching across north-west Wales from Holyhead to Llanidloes.
The Electoral College is made up of representatives from all six Welsh dioceses. The “home” diocese is represented by six lay people and six clergy, and the other five dioceses by three lay people and three clergy each, plus the four remaining Bishops.
Its discussions are confidential. Candidates for election are nominated at the meeting, discussed and voted on by ballot. Any candidate receiving two-thirds of the votes of those present is declared Bishop-Elect. Otherwise, the College returns to the nomination stage and the cycle starts afresh. Traditionally, the Bishop of Bangor is a Welsh-speaker.
The College may meet for up to three consecutive days in order to reach a decision; if it is unable to do so within this deadline the decision passes to the Bench of Bishops.
Once a bishop is elected, he will have up to 28 days to accept the position.
The meeting on October 7 will begin with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the cathedral at 10.30am to which anyone is welcome. The Electoral College will meet in private and the Cathedral will be locked.
There will be an opportunity to take photographs or film members of the Electoral College entering the cathedral and the door being locked, at the end of Holy Eucharist.
Once the new bishop is elected, a press conference will be held for interviews.