From the Revd Mark Whiting
Sir, - It was reported by Andrew Brown (Press, 5
October), quoting Jonathan Wynne-Jones's article in The
Sunday Times, that Bishop Richard Chartres has been "ruled
out" as a candidate for Archbishop of Canterbury because
"representatives from the Canterbury diocese objected to his
refusal to ordain women."
I hope that this statement is untrue,
because I am sure that the Crown Nominations Commission is fully
aware that the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993 laid down that
there should be no discrimination against candidates for ordination
or appointment to senior office on the grounds of "their views or
positions on the ordination of women to the priesthood".
Time and again, I have heard members
of various synods (deanery, diocesan, and General) say that the new
Code of Practice currently being discussed needs us all to "trust
each other". The Revd Janet Appleby has given us the word
"respect", and last week WATCH spoke of creating "a space for trust
and grace to operate". How can we have "trust and grace" or
"respect" when, allegedly, some people ride roughshod over the laws
already set down? This does not bode well for a new Code of
Will the CNC publicly deny that any
such conversations ever took place?
98 Kirby Road
Portsmouth PO2 0PW
From the Revd Arthur L.
Sir, - The Anglican Communion has a unique opportunity at
present to make a radical change to its structure, without loading
an insupportable burden on one man. This structure still bears the
marks of its origins in the British Empire, which the Church could
do without. If this could be agreed, the present deadlock might be
resolved in this kind of way:
(a) by appointing Dr Sentamu as
presiding Archishop of the overseas Anglican Churches, in all
matters concerning the Communion at large;
(b) by leaving overseas Churches, and
the Episcopal Church in the United States in particular, to decide
their own relationship within the new structure;
(c) by appointing another of the able
candidates to be Archbishop of Canterbury.
Shades of Empire would start to
disperse, and the diocese of Canterbury could have its own
"undivided" Bishop. More importantly, appointees could be selected
on the basis of their own well-tried gifts. Tensions would remain,
in the nature of things, but the grace of the Holy Spirit was sent
for such a time as this.
ARTHUR L. POULTON
2 The Cloisters, Rhos-on-Sea
Colwyn Bay LL28 4PW
From Mr William Snowley
Sir, - That Dr Rowan Williams should reveal some misgivings
at the end of his time as Archbishop is not only understandable,
but also a measure of his character (News,
5 October). His immense intellectual gifts, humility, humanity,
and ability to see both (or more) sides of any matter in contention
lead him away from taking hasty or partisan positions.
It is this that has led him to
disappoint some who would wish their own line to be followed, and
also those who seek a banner to follow or a sound-bite to
As a good and wise captain, he has
kept the ship afloat in rough seas, and many appreciate this, and
admire him for it. Magdalene College, Cambridge, is very fortunate
in gaining such a man at its head.
7A Castle Hill
Lancaster LA1 1YS