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.
“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.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.
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.
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'.