Thinking Anglicans

Williams to quit?

Updated again on Sunday evening

Tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph will publish this article by Jonathan Wynne-Jones: Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan William set to quit next year.
“The Archbishop of Canterbury is planning to resign next year, nearly a decade before he is due to step down, it can be revealed.”

Updates

It seems only fair to point out that some of this information appeared in the Guardian diary column written by Stephen Bates a few weeks ago, scroll down to second paragraph.

…Word is that John Sentamu, the archbishop of York – who has been severely ill with appendicitis this summer – would be ambitious for the job, a thought to make many bishops blanch, since they rate his abilities rather lower than he does himself. And it is said that Richard Chartres, bishop of London and third in line of seniority, might back Sentamu if only to make sure he is not appointed, and Chartres himself would then gain the primacy. Positively Trollopean and surely wrong-headed, except that it is being circulated by some senior clergy…

And Riazat Butt now reports that Bishop of London denies suggesting Rowan Williams should retire early.

The bishop of London has denied suggesting it would be beneficial if the archbishop of Canterbury were to retire early, after it was claimed he was briefing against the most senior cleric in the Church of England…

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Grandmère Mimi
Guest

Enough qualifications such as ‘it is understood’, but I doubt Wynne-Jones would say this much without a basis. Of course, folks from England would know more about Wynne-Jones’ reliability than I.

Pluralist
Guest

It is friends of friends and the usual gossip shop that provides anything wanted. It’s the Telegraph agenda about female bishops.

What will unseat Williams is the (unmentioned) Covenant going wrong. It is starting to go wrong, but he might still force it through the Church of England. If the female bishops thing doesn’t quite make it, there would be more resistance to the Covenant, given it is likely to make any progressive change more difficult in the future.

Anyway, the blog world can wake up. Journalists have their uses.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2011/09/do-go-but-its-just-rumour.html

thurifer
Guest
thurifer

Tom Wright for ABC!!!!!!

Jersey
Guest
Jersey

From Episcopal Cafe, a welcome reminder to always consider the source.
http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/archbishop_of_canterbury/rowan_williams_stepping_down_s.html

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

If this is true, I think it would be good for Rowan to leave and allow for a new candidate who will hopefully be a progressive who can lead with backbone while offering a voice for women, the glbt communities and all of those who have been disenfranchised from the Church. I wish Rowan Williams well but we need a leader who will stand up for those whose voices have not been heard. The last thing we need is a Fundamentalist.

rjb
Guest
rjb

I do hope JW-J is mistaken. Cambridge already has quite enough subtle professors of theology who can elegantly and ingeniously dispute the number of angels on a pinhead. Archbishop Rowan is needed at the head of the Church. Nobody is under any illusions that Williams loves his job, but I pray that he won’t be tempted to take his hand from the plough – especially if our lovely bishops are trying to wheel in the Archbishop of York as some kind of anointed dauphain. Anyone who is disappointed by Rowan Williams is unlikely to be impressed by John Sentamu. On… Read more »

Savi Hensman
Guest
Savi Hensman

Following on from Jersey’s comments, some parts of this sound implausible, e.g. “He would have just as good a chance of becoming archbishop given his connection with the royal family, but the only problem is his opposition to women’s ordination.” Connections with the royal family might have been an important factor in selecting the Archbishop of Canterbury two or three centuries ago, but this does not ring true today. It is possible that some other senior clergy, noticing Rowan’s distress at the church politics surrounding him, have suggested that he has done his stint and could return to academia if… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I can quite understand why Archbishop Rowan might be looking forward to a return to academic life. His time as ABC, which began with such hope from the Affirming Catholic viewpoint, has been besieged by outright rebellion against his considered liberal stance on women and gays. Since his first efforts as a Bishop of the Church to bring enlightenment on these issues, Provinces in the Global South and elsewhere – hell-bent on persecuting the policy of inclusiveness so boldly undertaken by the likes of our sisters and brothers in the Church in North America – have gritted their teeth in… Read more »

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

A few things to note. RW became Archbishop of Canterbury at a younger age than all his immediate predecessors (52 as opposed to 56 (Carey), 59 (Runcie), 65 (Coggan), 57 (Ramsey), 58 (Fisher)). Thus he would have had much longer in the chair of Augustine if he went on to retirement age. About a decade seems about right and matches Carey and Runcie. He might well have had enough.

Second, it is difficult to spot what kind of job an Archbishop aged 62 could go on to. However, being Master of Trinity (which is a Crown appointment) seems one such job.

Father David
Guest
Father David

The Archbishop of Canterbury to retire! “I don’t believe it!” Where’s your stamina Rowan? Of course, the rot set in when Archbishop Randall Davidson was the first Cantuar to retire – his predecessors having died in office. Davidson gave up the post after a mere 25 years in office when he was only 80 years of age.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I think it’s a reasonable guess. If he is not staying to see through a second Lambeth Conference (and he could), then next year gives his successor the time to plan the conference he would want. I believe that was one of the strongest reasons behind the timing of Carey’s resignation – and he was enjoying the job and didn’t want to go. When he was first appointed I remember Rowan’s chaplain pointing out he could do two Lambeths – as I remember his view at the time was ten years at that job was enough for anyone! Also, as… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
Guest

Can someone in England remind me how much influence the Prime Minister has, under the current dispensation, on the selection of the next Archbishop of Canterbury? I’ve a feeling this have changed in the past few years but I can’t remember the details.

Doug Chaplin
Guest

The rumour of +Rowan’s retirement together with a subsequent Cambridge appointment has been doing the rounds for some time (I think I first heard it back in June).

What is new about Jon Wynne-Jones’ story is the reporting of Chartres’ manoeuvrings behind the scenes. J W-J is normally a very careful fact checker so I would be more inclined to believe at least that he has a good source he trusts, and that Chartres’ subsequent denials (The Guardian is an odd vehicle for his denial) are questionable.

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

I have the highest respect for Rowan Williams’ spirituality and while I have read nothing to suggest he is proposing to retire, if he did, then I’m not sure a further ‘career’ or endless theology in academia would become his life goal.

Given his acute feel for contemplative spirituality (for example the carmelite tradition and his writing on Teresa de Avila) I would be inclined to think that a life after episcopacy would incline towards deepening prayer.

CP36
Guest
CP36

I think it will be a great tragedy if the present Archbishop of Canterbury is replaced by a Fundamentalist or an Evangelical. That will most probably be the end of Anglicanism. Most things in Nature regress towards the Mean which means God is very fair and gives creatures a good chance for survival. The best thing to do is to be a Latitudinarian or a Broad Anglican. High and Low are extremes on the right and the left. Neither of them have peace and are are always at war over something or other. For Latitudinarians, common sense is the “candle… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

“Also as I remember it – the bishop of London ruled himself out last time.” Mr. Reynolds – I don’t recall that there was any ruling out on the part of the Bishop of London as far as the see of Canterbury was concerned a decade ago! I do have a vague recollection that + Richard Londin may have expressed a willingness to revise his views on the ordination of women when Dr. Carey announced his own premature retirement. I also recall that Dr. Chartres stated that he had in effect, in being Domestic Chaplain to Dr. Runcie, already done… Read more »

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

I woiuldn’t be at all suprised that when Rowan retires he jumps ship to Rome. However not the Anglo-catholic theme park of the Ordinariate though.

simon
Guest
simon

Chartres will be 65 next year, a little old to take on a new job. Sentamu will be 62 but after his recent spell in hospital may be advised against it.

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

Gerry Lynch asks about the influence of the Prime Minister. To a certain extent there are shifting sands here as the previous PM (Brown) tried to reduce his role further than his predecessors have. Currently for each diocesan vacancy a Crown Nominations Commission is put together with six permanent members elected by General Synod, two Archbishops and six members elected from the diocese. In the case of a vacancy in the See of Canterbury the Archbishop of York is joined by a bishop elected from among the bishops of the Province of Canterbury (obviously one who doesn’t fancy the job… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

On the matter of Rowan Williams contemplating hanging up his skates, “At this moment, the laurel bush, which had hitherto not spoken, said “Psst! …who will be the next Archbishop? ” My apologies to PG Wodehouse,

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

“I don’t recall that there was any ruling out on the part of the Bishop of London as far as the see of Canterbury was concerned a decade ago! “
wrote Father David on Monday, 12 September 2011 at 5:35am BST

As I have said my memory is that (at some stage in the proceedings) he asked that his name be not considered.

For those wanting some background on this man there was a piece back nine years ago that I thought very interesting then:
http://www.stgeorgescathedral.com/sermons/chartres.html

Steve Lusk
Guest
Steve Lusk

“You cannot hope to bribe or twist . . .”

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

CP36 said, “I think it will be a great tragedy if the present Archbishop of Canterbury is replaced by a Fundamentalist or an Evangelical. That will most probably be the end of Anglicanism.”

Why?

Anglicanism is a loose family of independent churches. It is also a way of thinking.

One Archbishop of Canterbury, no matter how fundamentalist or evangelical, can do very little to destroy either.

Father David
Guest
Father David

If, as now seems to be the case, prospective candidates are formally interviewed (a recent innovation) for vacant diocesan bishoprics – shouldn’t the diocesan vacancies now be properly advertised? Oh for the good old days when the Prime Minister, after taking soundings, presented the names of future bishops to the Crown for approval without all this modern day faff! The old system, after all, gave us the greatest of the 20th century Archbishops – Michael Ramsey when Harold MacMillan refused to allow Geoffrey Fisher to be his “headmaster” in dictating the choice of his successor. As Macmillan so wisely said… Read more »

Ben
Guest
Ben

+ Nick Baines (in York for the C of E House of Bishops meeting) and reporter in question JW-J have been involved in a little ‘interaction’ in the comments section over at + Nick’s blog
http://nickbaines.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/game-off/#comments

Father David
Guest
Father David

“As I have said my memory is that (at some stage in the proceedings) he (i.e. Richard Chartres) asked that his name be not considered.” It seems to me that the link which Martin Reynolds kindly provides giving some background to the life of the present Bishop of London gives an opposing view when it states:- “As far as the prospect of him going to Canterbury, he is sceptical without ruling it out.” Is Mr. Reynolds perhaps confusing the Bishop of London with the Archbishop of York who, as I recall, definitely ruled himself out of the prospect of going… Read more »

CP36
Guest
CP36

>>Anglicanism is a loose family of independent churches. It is also a way of thinking. Agreed it is a way of thinking and a method of living. The Archbishop of Canterbury is not just a clergyman. Besides the Pope he is the only other Christian leader to whom the goverments of the world or the UN will pay some attention. He has done and is doing good in the world and I doubt a mere clergyman will be able to do what he is doing. So who occupies the Chair of the Archbishop of Canterbury is important. I am sure… Read more »

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

The elephant is the room (to use a horrid cliche) is surely the man who didn’t get it last time. That would not merely be another nail in the coffin of the CofE but a stake through its heart.

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

Cryptogram is certainly cryptic. There were 44 English diocesan bishops and about 30 million other British men who didn’t get it last time. Which one do you mean?

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

Wilf hasn’t quite got the arcane arrangements for a Canterbury CNC right. The Prime Minister continues to appoint a person to preside, who needs to be an actual communicant lay member of the Church of England (something I tried to change on the floor of the General Synod, now that the Prime Minister adopts the new convention of accepting the preferred candidate of the CNC) and who is a voting member. Two additional members join a Canterbury CNC, one of the members of the Primates Meeting of the Anglican Communion elected by the Joint Standing Committee and the ACC, who… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Anglicanism is a loose family of independent churches. It is also a way of thinking. –
One Archbishop of Canterbury, no matter how fundamentalist or evangelical, can do very little to destroy either.”

– Jeremy – on Tuesday –

Well, Jeremy, there’s one Archbishop of Canterbury – George Carey – who came pretty close, especially after Lambeth 1:10.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

CP36 said, “He has done and is doing good in the world.” In what way is the good that Dr. Rowan Williams has done related to his role as Archbishop of Canterbury? And in what way has the good that the Archbishop of Canterbury can do in the world related to the fact that recently that Archbishop has been Rowan Williams? In other words, what has he done, while Archbishop, that he could not do, were he to step down? And what has he done, while Archbishop, that no other Archbishop of Canterbury would do in that role? Don’t confuse… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

Good Lord, deliver us from the arcane and attenuated arrangements described by Anthony Archer to select the next Cantuar – positively Byzantine. How much simpler things were pre-Callaghan. If the members of the Canterbury CNC do decide that they wish to interview prospective candidates for the vacant Archiepiscopacy then I look forward to seeing the advertisement for the position of Archbishop of Canterbury in a future edition of the Church Times when Rowan eventually confirmes that he is resigning the post next year.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Simon tells us that “Chartres will be 65 next year, a little old to take on a new job”. Well how old was Donald Coggan when he took over as Cantuar from Blessed Michael Ramsey? 65 – no less! Coggan wasn’t too old to make striking initiatives when on a visit to Rome in 1977 he called for full intercommunion between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church. It was said at the time that even the ladies of the night in the Eternal City were shocked at Coggan’s proposal.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Richard Chartres is 65 next year (2012) so he would normally retire in 2017. The next Lambeth Conference is in 2018 presumably…odd to have an ABC retiring a year before the Conference or having to stay one year beyond the retirement date to preside over it and then go…The fact surely is that there is no obvious successor to + Rowan at the moment on the English bench and a substantial number of retirements in the pipe line from 2012…good reason for him to stay on at least til he is 65.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

My last post seems to have vanished into TA limbo. Still, I was only saying again to Father David what I had repeated before and reminding him that although I came across this this Guardian feature during the run-up to Rowan’s nomination, it had in fact been written nearly two years before – and much changes in that time! I can only reiterate that the story in Newport was that Chartres’ aspirations perished by his own hand – possibly as Tutu would have it because there was a candidate “head and shoulders” above the rest – ooh! that didn’t go… Read more »

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

Wilf wonders to whom I refer. If I must spell it out, though I would have thought most people will have found it a less cryptic allusion than he does, his ex-Lordship of Rochester.

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

@ cryptogram: God forbid.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Martin Reynolds last posting reminds me of nothing more than what Winston Churchill said when nominating William Temple to the see of Canterbury – “The only half-crown item in a sixpenny bazaar”.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Father David’s last post reminded me of this review of Rupert Shortt’s small book on Rowan Williams. Here Damian Thompson’s analytical skill and deep knowledge of the machinations of churchmen shine out brilliantly – sadly these outstanding qualities are all too often eclipsed by a dark cloud of venom.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3600247/The-only-half-crown-item-in-a-sixpenny-bazaar.html

CP36
Guest
CP36

>>In what way is the good that Dr. Rowan Williams has done related to his role as Archbishop of Canterbury? As far as I know he is the only Christian world leader who is in the good books of the Muslim world. He has an unusual ablity to manoeuvre himself among them to say what he wants to say without offending them. I don’t believe there is any other Archbishop anywhere who can do that. I have seen him in action in a conference and I understand that conference was organised by the Muslims. He was really good. As for… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Has not My Lord, the former Bishop of Rochester, already burnt his boats in the Church of England and moved into ACNA Teritory? He is at least ‘person grata’ and extremely close to that schismatic sect.

In view of the possibility of the prospective cozying-up of a Covenant relationship between consenting Provinces; would the next Appointment of Primus-inter-pares be more pragmatically sought from among Bishops of the whole Communion? Only asking!

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

Martin Reynold’s interesting article from 2002 flags up the anomaly that although the Archbishop of Canterbury is regarded as being a (quasi?) titular head (or shepherd or overseer or focal point) for the whole Anglican Communion, contenders from all the other countries of the Communion have never been selected for this position. This does convey an assumption of privilege in a way, and it would not be impossible to devise an arrangement where oversight for the Church of England was handed to a second primate (to ensure the self-determination of the province) while making a hugely positive signal to the… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

“In what way is the good that Dr. Rowan Williams has done related to his role as Archbishop of Canterbury?” For us Roman Catholics, Rowan Williams is the man who put Anglicanism on the map. The Pope is eating out of his hand. When he goes, the C of E will sink back into grey. “And in what way has the good that the Archbishop of Canterbury can do in the world related to the fact that recently that Archbishop has been Rowan Williams?” No doubt all ABC’s do a lot of good, but very few of them capture the… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“Well, Jeremy, there’s one Archbishop of Canterbury – George Carey – who came pretty close, especially after Lambeth 1:10.”

Father Ron, don’t you think that remains to be seen? And if George Carey did come pretty close, surely he has had an assist from the present incumbent.

Simon Kershaw
Admin

re: advertisements for episcopal vacancies in England

Although these do not yet occur as such, the rules do include a ‘national announcement in the church press’ inviting people to ‘submit comments and possible names to the Appointments Secretaries’. And ‘the names submitted are circulated to all members of the Crown Nominations Commission’

See the official briefing paper sent to members of the CNC and to be found at
http://www.churchofengland.org/media/35871/dbnom3.pdf

The process for other senior clergy is documented at
http://www.churchofengland.org/clergy-office-holders/asa/senappt.aspx

and does include advertisements and self-applications.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Its difficult to see any re-structuring of the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury taking place all the time the C of E remains the Established Church.For better or worse the ABC has distinct place within the english constitutional set up, in relation to the monarchy and so on.I imagine they must be a British Citizen.None of this is likely to change quickly. Fiddling about with the C of E’s established status is not something the Government or Parliament are keen to do at the best of times…in the current political and economic situation there is no likelihood; the next… Read more »