In a major article in the New Statesman, George Pitcher, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s secretary for public affairs from 2010-2011, ponders the challenges confronting the Archbishop’s successor: Between church and state.
Politicians are accustomed to the media distorting whatever they have to say for dramatic effect – every discussion is a row, every initiative a push for power. So it is with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Anglican apparatchiks have been busy playing down the suggestion that their Church is planning to appoint a “global president” to relieve the next archbishop of some of the workload. The line is that Dr Rowan Williams, in a valedictory interview in the Daily Telegraph, merely said that the job was too big for one person. The Telegraph thought otherwise.
But the story stirred some emotions, not least relief that Tony Blair had converted to Roman Catholicism and so would not be available for the job. And it drew attention to just how political is the role of archbishop of Canterbury. Not only is Williams presented as a more virulent opposition to the present government than the Labour Party, but what he has to say is presented in the media about as sympathetically as Boris Johnson’s denials that he wants to be prime minister…
John Martin writes for The Living Church about the Horse Race for Lambeth Palace and concludes with
Odds are strong that the commission will name Richard Chartres as a short-term “caretaker” to give Justin Welby time to gain more experience as a bishop before taking the reins at Lambeth Palace.