Monday, September 12, 2011


From Bishop of Bradford, Nick Baines' blog:
The game is on. Journalists have started their game of speculating without reason on the internal workings of the mind of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The whistle has blown, the runners are lined up, and now we’ll get a race to see who can guess the best story. How exciting… er… or maybe not quite.
Perhaps the chatter making its way around 'As the Anglican World Turns' is simply rumor based on wishful thinking. I can accept that.

But wait!
“Bishops are placing themselves under starter’s orders in the race to become next Archbishop of Canterbury”. Er… who and how? I understand the use of the metaphor, but it doesn’t work in this case. There is no race. There is no competition. There is no ‘finishing line’. The horses don’t know that they are running or where the jumps are that they didn’t know they were required to jump.

It simply doesn’t work like this. If any particular bishop was being considered, he probably wouldn’t know. He couldn’t influence the process anyway. Unlike some other Provinces of the Anglican Communion, there is no election to be fought, no lobbying to be done, no one to lobby and no ‘ultimate prize’. One newspaper report speaks of “some apparent jockeying for position among Dr Williams’ potential successors”. How would a potential successor actually do this ‘jockeying’? Just asking.
Although I am a foreigner and perhaps not all that knowledgeable about the inner workings of the Church of England, it beggars belief that Bp. Nick would have us believe that no English bishops, have ambitions and never, ever engage in back room maneuverings in attempts to have this bishop or that bishop or even themselves named to high positions.

Having said that, Bp. Nick may well be correct that the thinly sourced story in the Telegraph by Jonathan Wynne-Jones, which other news organizations seem to be picking up, is mostly rumor.
You’d have to be out of your mind to want to be Archbishop of Canterbury. My guess is that whoever is asked to do it next will have to be dragged to the seat.
Nevertheless, I'd guess that a few bishops may aspire to the position, but whether they're of sound mind, I'm not qualified to say.

Tune in later for the next episode of 'As the Anglican World Turns'.


  1. ...of course dragging the Bishop to his seat is a very orthodox tradition.

  2. Nick Baines is one of the correct age runners and riders, so part of being in the race is to comment against being in the race, if he wants to be in the race, though of course he might want to make a comment about the race. It is such a corrosive system he can't even make a comment about the race without being seen as setting himself up to be in the race.

  3. The faith handed up...the grass roots elect the episcopate. In Greek orthodox and some russina orthodox ordinations the candidate is still symbolically led through the church held at the arms by two of the congregation.

  4. That should of course be Russian...honestly my typing...

  5. Adrian, I realize that Bp. Nick says what he must.

    theme, the position of Bishop of the Rabble is not vacant and won't be until the present bishop passes on to the great beyond.

  6. Or, as the constable said, "What's all this, then?"

    Is there such a word as disingenuity? How English bishops are chosen may be hush hush, but it is not mere happenstance...

    wv - glati -- a Klingon dessert.

  7. The process isn't that hush hush. That's what all this nonsense is, the beginning of the process, a spot of preening and a quick display of feathers from the contenders, the opening betting stakes...

  8. theme... I meant the inner bits were hush hush; i.e. what goes on in the dressing room. The floor show itself is quite spectacular, the strutting and flexing not unlike Cirque du Soleil. I hear the Cirque team are working on a new show called "Cantuar' that includes some spectacular acrobatic numbers, including the heartfelt, "Who? Me! A Bishop?" in which the entire cast act as if they've never heard of the very thing they are doing!

  9. Mimi, did you see MP's suggestion?

  10. theme and Tobias, thank you for two good laughs for my day.

    I may change the title of my series to Cirque du Communion Anglican.

    susan s., I'll have a look.

  11. My guess is that whoever is asked to do it next will have to be dragged to the seat.

    Well, that's what they say about the Pope (that there's a "Weeping Room" where the electee cries before coming out onto the balcony, after the white smoke goes up), but I'm not sure I believe it. [Heh, if *I* were ever made "infallible", I'd be doing the Happy Dance: "About damn time the fools recognized it!" *LOL*]

  12. But...but...but I thought you WERE infallible, JCF.


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