Comments: CNC speculation

When might the next ABC be enthroned?

Posted by Savi Hensman at Wednesday, 26 September 2012 at 11:00pm BST

The final "Plumstead Letter" is devastatingly naughty. I've never heard so many repetititons of the 'Doing Word' in so short a time. However, I'm not so sure that the Honourable Lord Chairperson would ever resort to such rhetoric. Funny, though!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 27 September 2012 at 12:00am BST

>> This person also has to be asked if he will accept nomination and given time to reply

Why a he? Is there fear amongst the men in silly skirts that the Queen might object to a woman being in charge?

Posted by Randal Oulton at Thursday, 27 September 2012 at 7:02am BST

The Church of England has not yet passed legislation for women to become bishops. So all the candidates for this office are male.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 27 September 2012 at 7:39am BST

"If, however, the Commission is concerned to appoint God’s choice – a thoughtful and gifted communicator, deeply committed to upholding the orthodoxy of the Christian faith – ‘the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints’ – in the fraught context of cultural diversity, social upheaval, political cynicism and theological conflict, the lot must fall to Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham."

Fascinating to see Adrian Hilton in the Daily Mail claiming to speak on behalf of Almighty God. I had always assumed that that organ's remit derived from the other place. Clearly I'll have to revise my assessment of the Bishop of Durham. After all, if the Mail is for us, who can not be against us?

Posted by rjb at Thursday, 27 September 2012 at 8:41am BST

I'm sure that Justin Welby is a talented and gifted man but surely only a few months at Durham is hardly sufficient an apprecticeship for so high and noble a preferment as Cantuar? Give the man more time in his present ministry before being translated to either York or Canterbury.
After all the last person to go from Dunelm to Cantuar went via Ebor - and he was surely the greatest 20th century Archbishop of Canterbury - Michael Ramsey.
No leave the poor fellow where he is to gain further episcopal experience and in the meantime translate London to Canterbury.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 27 September 2012 at 10:58am BST

I'm actually inclined to agree with Fr David in this instance. The Bishop of London is at least a 'safe pair of hands', and if he won't inspire anyone to feverish love and loyalty like Rowan Williams did, he is unlikely to rock too many boats. He's probably the Mitt Romney of this race, is what I'm saying.

Posted by rjb at Thursday, 27 September 2012 at 4:04pm BST

I do not think it can be the Bishop of London he is to much of an establishment figure identified as he appears to be with those who have wealth and/or privilege and also someone close to those who appear to believe in the divine right of kings to not only advise but to be obeyed.

Better to go with someone (like Ramsey or Runcie) who could shepherd the church in troubled times whilst providing intellegent leadership rather than good management.

Posted by Confused Sussex at Thursday, 27 September 2012 at 4:43pm BST

What has being a diocesan bishop got to do with being qualified for Cantuar?

Peace-maker. Reconciler. Respected in all quarters of the Communion. Godly. NOT a seeker after kudos or approval (that's Londin & Ebor out). Trans-churchman ship yet seriously rooted in God. Handles conflict.


Posted by abbey mouse at Thursday, 27 September 2012 at 8:15pm BST

Re the prayer for the crown nominations committee, I was reminded of an old "Beyond the fringe sketch",
" 'Padre', she said, ' what is your little game?' "

Posted by Rod Gillis at Friday, 28 September 2012 at 1:07am BST

Dear Confused, I can think of no one on the present Bench more in the mould of Ramsey and Runcie that + Richard of London. After all - I'm sure he learnt much from his master about how to be an Archbishop of Canterbury when he served as Robert Runcie's Chaplain at both St. Albans and Lambeth.

Posted by Father David at Friday, 28 September 2012 at 9:49am BST

ohgod you're all so earnest. Plumstead's one of the funnniest things I've seen in a long time.

And he dares to give voice (albeit Hitler's) to what so many are thinking.

Posted by Daniel Berry, NYC at Friday, 28 September 2012 at 12:04pm BST

As I recall, George Carey had only been a bishop something like two years when he was picked for Canterbury.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 28 September 2012 at 2:59pm BST

My memory of +George in Bath and Wells was that he could have done to have been there longer so as to get used to bishoping, to understand the consequences of some of his more ill-thought-out policies and even begin to put them right.

One would have to be exceptionally gifted (and holy)to learn the vocation of bishop in a short time to a sufficient depth to be suited to Cantuar. I wonder whether it's fair to 'promote' someone in that way - isn't it setting them up to disappoint?

Posted by david rowett at Friday, 28 September 2012 at 4:28pm BST

Can't see what the point would be in having a 'caretaker', nor why Chartres should fill that role, if there were a point. Whilst in general I am in greatly in favour of allowing the expression of 'two integrities', it would be highly anomalous if the head of the C of E didn't ordain women and extremely sordid if Chartres, not having done so hitherto, was intimating that yes! maybe! he would do the dirty deed IF he got the top job. I am constantly amazed by the low moral standards set by our bishops (who then presume of course narrowly to dictate morals for the rest of us).

As for Welby, it is equally sordid that he should be being anointed as heir apparent, nor do I accept that he is universally approved. For one, I don't approve him, and I reiterate the point that the last thing the C of E needs is an unimaginative, unempathetic Evangelical. Jones has shown positive things. Still hope he gets it. On which point, I was at a highly establishment big do on Wednesday evening and twitted participant clergy on the merits of Jones: response was, he was suspect because he's changed his mind on some things. Ye gods! (I am a Classicist pagan). Pagan or Christian, one might have hoped that the ability to change one's mind (Keynes: when the facts change, I change my mind) was a merit not a defect.

Posted by John at Friday, 28 September 2012 at 8:50pm BST

Hmm, returning to the question of whether or not a woman can be chosen, this from the CofE website:

"Since the Archbishop of Canterbury is automatically a member of the House of Lords he must, under the law of the land be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen.... There is, however, no rule which limits the CNC to choosing someone who is currently holding an office in the Church of England. Indeed Archbishop Rowan was serving in another province of the Communion when nominated as Archbishop of Canterbury."

Are there any female bishops who are Commonwealth citizens who could be chosen?

Posted by Daithi at Friday, 28 September 2012 at 10:43pm BST

'Are there any female bishops who are Commonwealth citizens who could be chosen?'

No, there aren't. Because a women may not lawfully be elected and confirmed a bishop in the Church of England.

Unless and until the law is changed, which will not happen in time for this appointment, unless it drags on for a considerable time. Even if the current draft legislation were to be approved by the requisite majorities in November, it would still have to be approved by the two Houses of Parliament, and receive the Royal Assent, and then amending Canons would have to be approved by the General Synod. And the Code of Practice drawn up, debated, and approved.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Friday, 28 September 2012 at 11:26pm BST

Dear father David

Re London - you may be right but given his role in the recent St Pauls affair I seen nothing to convince me he has sympathy for the poor or be prepared to challenge the status quo, which given the current state of the country is a necessary role


Although I am not averse to someone being appointed with little or no experience of being a Bishop if he (or in time she) is the outstanding candidate; but I do not think you can use the example of George Carey to justify this since there was a much better candidate available at the time who was clearly not picked for political reasons

Posted by Confused sussex at Saturday, 29 September 2012 at 7:22am BST

Prime Minister Gordon Brown once said - "This is no time for a novice" - I think these words are equally true in the current ecclesiastical world as they are in the political world.
I'm sure that, in time, Justin Welby will prove to be a fine Ebor or Cantuar. However, we must recall that it was only a year ago on this very day (St. Michael & All Angels - 29th September 2011) that his election as Bishop of Durham was confirmed in York Minster. He was consecrated on 28th October 2011 and Enthroned as Bishop of Durham as recently as 26th November 2011. Not quite a year in episcopal ministry. Surely more time is needed prior to further preferment.
Mind - Thomas Becket was ordained priest on 2nd June 1162 and consecrated to be Archbishop of Canterbury on 3rd June 1162 - but look what happened to him!

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 29 September 2012 at 9:25am BST

'Thomas Becket was ordained priest on 2nd June 1162 and consecrated to be Archbishop of Canterbury on 3rd June 1162 - but look what happened to him!'

And not just Becket: Alphege, Stephen Sudbury, Thomas Cranmer and William Laud all came to an untimely end.

That's almost 5% chance of being killed as ABC. Perhaps the Health & Safety Executive should investigate.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Saturday, 29 September 2012 at 10:49am BST

"Becket, Alphege, Stephen Sudbury and William Laud all came to an untimely end."

Indeed so - but in the late 20th and early 21st centuries - more subtle ways have been found to martyr an Archbishop. So, is it any wonder that Rowan is off to take refuge in Cambridge and the Bishop of Norwich is praying that it won't be him taking over?

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 29 September 2012 at 12:06pm BST
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