At least he's done some work in a parish as a vicar. He should also help to represent the evangelical wing and hopefully moderate them a bit - except perhaps on the gay issue.
But he's too young and too inexperienced as a bishop, the latter of these being the most worrisome.
No doubt the trumpets will sound and peons of praise be offered when the announcement is made officially.
Let's hope they will still be heard fourteen years from now.
If it is to be Justin Welby and speculation suggests that it may well be - then I wish him well and assure him of my prayers as he prepares to take his place on Saint Augustine's throne.
My hope is that he is not treated like his namesake - Justin Martyr (A.D. 100-165),that great early interpreter of the Logos, and suffers a similar martyrdom at the hands of the Press as has his three immediate predecessors - Archbishops Williams, Carey and Runcie.
If "Fr David" is the Fr David who has spoken out so strongly in favour of Richard Chartres here, then I salute him for his good wishes and prayers for Justin Welby.
If everyone could emulate that and mean it, we would be a long step towards healing the divide in the church.
Erika, the very same Fr. David. Thank you for your kind words and I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed in your second sentence.
Dreadfully embarrassing for the Church of England that this has been leaked and published in the national press before any official announcement has been made...
If these reports are correct, then Bishop Justin has my warm congratulations and welcome.
A couple of musings:
- Do we actually have any evidence that Bishop Justin is opposed to same-sex marriage? His profile on the BBC Religion and Ethics website says 'he has rigorously defended the Church's right to oppose single-sex marriages' - but that could be as in 'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it'.
- Barber (1995, _J. Eccles. Law_ *3*(16):299-312) lists Trinity as certainly being a Royal Peculiar and Eton as possibly being a Royal Peculiar. Since membership of Trinity is for life, we may be about to enthrone an Archbishop of Canterbury who has not himself been subject to the jurisdiction of an Archbishop at any time since the age of thirteen. I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with that, but it is a remarkable situation.
Justin Welby is being variously descibed on the Radio news this morning as
former oil executive,
for women bishops
against same sex marriage.
The first three appear singly or in multiple. The last is always included. It seems to me to unfortunate, to say the least, the the man being touted as the next ABC is already seen as being part of the conservative and evangelical opposition to the contemporary world.
I'm unenthusiastic if this is the decision. But if it is, then of course we all should get behind him. Equally - and equally of course - he should get behind us - and all of us.
Never heard of this guy until articles about him being an odds on favorite by British bookies began to emerge. Gleaned from online articles, he appears to be well connected to the "establishment" and he is an evangelical. Perhaps these two characteristics make sense in choosing a leader for the established church at a time when it is in serious numerical decline. He is said to have some expertise in the area of "conflict management" but that can mean many things across the spectrum from peace making to marketing.
The one major concern I would have, if I were impacted by this appointment, and as a North American I'm really not, is the lack of time he has had to mature as a a fairly newly minted bishop. Ministry formation and ongoing discernment don't seem to be priorities in this instance, if the rumor is true.
Perhaps posters who know something about +Welby would care to comment in depth, thus filling out the profile?
It is a delightful little irony that +Williams quoted Barth about preaching with a newspaper in one hand and a bible in the other, at the very moment when his successor is announced by media gossip. Precious!
Given his relative inexperience it might make sense for +Graham James who has been at Norwich a long time but who has experience of being Chaplain to two Abps to become Bishop at Lambeth. the post seems to have lapsed but in view of Tim Sutcliffe's criticisms of the way things work it might be a help.
The Church is the Bride of Christ, and is guided by the Holy Spirit.
Having said that "the church" is also a very worldly institution.
It is not uncommon for the press to widely speculate that John Doe is going to be the next leader of such-and-such, and lo and behold, Jane Smith is the one chosen -- precisely because of the press speculation.
Mightn't it be a possibility that Bishop Welby's name is being "leaked" to the press -- for the purpose of shooting down his appointment?
@ Erika, tks for the article from layanglicana. Hadn't seen that one. There is some "in country" code in the piece that I'm not up to speed on, but its is an interesting and encouraging perspective. Always interested in Giles Fraser's take on things.
Be interesting to see how +Welby resonates with the North American scene, given the state of the question on same -sex marriage in Canada, and increasingly in the United States--conservative churchland is fast being left behind.
I hope he'll relate to us less like +Williams has, and perhaps more like the Royal family when they come here to visit i.e. smile, wave, shake hands,try on a Cowboy hat, but otherwise be discreet about giving advice. I gather Gene Robinson has made positive comment about Welby's appointment.
Having said that, I'll be interested to hear if he gets off the fence on global warming, given the debate here over "clean" coal and the Alberta tar sands.
Lots in today's TIMES in anticipation of the official announcement - including what + Justin Dunelm is recorded as thinking is the best job in the Established Church.
On being Dean of Liverpool:- "the best job in the Church".
On becoming the fourth most senior cleric in the Church's hierarchy:- "The Bishop of Durham is the best job in the Church of England."
This reminds me of nothing more than the great Bishop Cuthbert Bardsley who - wherever he went in the Coventry diocese - used to say:- "I don't know why it is but I like coming here better than anywhere else!"
I hope and pray that as Justin prepares for his next elevation he is able to say:- "Being the Archbishop of Canterbury is the best job in the Church of England."
I knew Justin when he was at Coventry Cathedral, all I can say from my perspective as a Reader at the time is he was very approachable, appreciated and understood lay ministry, not prone to publicising himself and his achievements, hard working and absolutely no sense of self importance, and a genuine attitude of servanthood.
I pray that these qualities, and his very genuine faith, will enable him to deal with the difficult times ahead.
Justin Welby may not have much experience as a bishop, but he has more experience as a parish priest than the last four ABCs combined. That's nice to see.
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