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The choosing of Dr Williams’s successor

12 October 2012


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 Practice.

Will the CNC publicly deny that any such conversations ever took place?
Ascension Vicarage
98 Kirby Road
Portsmouth PO2 0PW

From the Revd Arthur L. Poulton
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.
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 excite.

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

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