Jim Naughton has written a piece for Ruth Gledhill’s blog about this (original behind Times paywall).
A copy of the article also appears at the Daily Episcopalian. See Courting the Holy Spirit by practicing retail politics.
Last week, while the Church of England was dealing with embarrassing revelations about how badly the Archbishops of Canterbury and York had behaved while selecting the current Bishop of Southwark, I was observing the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D. C. as it prepared to choose the successor of Bishop John Bryson Chane, who retires in November.
The process that I witnessed was so different than the one described by the late Dean Colin Slee in his now-famous memo, that it seems almost unfair to draw comparisons. In filling the vacancy in Southwark, the English method of appointing bishops was clearly at its worst. Or so one hopes. A story of subterfuge leavened with a dash of Python-like absurdity, it featured a media leak meant to scuttle two candidacies, clumsy attempts to blame the leak on an innocent party, an investigation into the leak whose findings have been kept secret, and a delicious moment in which the Archbishop of York lobbied for votes while leading a group outing to the toilet. Little wonder that members of the Crown Nominating Committee were reduced to tears during the proceedings.
The process in Washington, on the other hand, has run relatively smoothly so far, although the election will not be held until June 18…
What Jim describes is, I think, what we here would call a “hustings”.