Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Church at "crossroads" over Archbishop of Canterbury candidates
THE Church of England has said the body responsible for choosing the new Archbishop of Canterbury – with the Archbishop of York believed to be a leading contender – is continuing its work after three days of talks saw no candidate put forward.
The Crown Nominations Committee met last week to discuss a successor to Dr Rowan Williams, who will step down at the end of the year, and had been expected to name a favoured candidate and another who could be chosen if the first choice did not work out.
However, the Church has indicated no decision for its top job is imminent by saying: “Previous official briefings have indicated that an announcement is expected during the autumn and that remains the case – the work of the commission continues.”
Dr John Sentamu is considered to be among the front-runners for the role, alongside the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, the Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, and the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James.
National newspaper reports have claimed the Commission was "deadlocked" over Dr Williams' successor and was not convinced Dr Sentamu should be chosen.
The Rev Preb David Houlding, a leading member of the General Synod, the church’s parliament, described the current situation as a “very difficult time for the church”.
He added: “This is a very big decision because the church is at crossroads. It is almost impossible for the commission to know which way to go. Last time Rowan Williams was the obvious candidate, whereas this time it’s not so obvious at all.”
The group will now have to meet again in October and settle on a final two names - a preferred candidate and a runner-up - whose names will be sent to the prime minister and the Queen before the appointment can be named.