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Life peer chosen to chair CNC

03 May 2012

by Ed Thornton

THE Prime Minister has appointed a former Conserv­ative government minister, Lord Luce, to chair the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) for its selec­tion of the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Lord Luce, who is 75, is an independent life peer, and High Steward of Westminster Abbey. A statement from 10 Downing Street, issued on Thursday of last week, described him as “a lifelong Anglican. . . who is a lay minister in the Church of England”. It said that he worships at a “parish church” near his home in West Sussex.

In the statement, Lord Luce said that he ap­proached the task of chairing the CNC “with humility and a strong sense of the respons­ibility that I and my colleagues on the com­mis­sion share.

“I am very conscious of the significance of the Archbishop’s role, both nationally and across the world. It is, of course, of great importance both to the Church of England and to the wider com­munity in our country, given the Church’s con­trib­ution to our society at all levels. . .

“Archbishop Rowan has made an outstanding con­tribution in all of these spheres. Finding a worthy successor will not be an easy task for the commission.”

Lord Luce was a Conservative MP for 21 years, and served for ten years as a minister. He was Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Arts Minister, and Minister for the Civil Service. From 2000 to 2006, Lord Luce was Lord Chamberlain.

The CNC is composed of 16 voting members, who will choose who is to be nominated as Dr Williams’s suc­cessor when he steps down at the end of the year (News, 23 March). A consultation process is under way, and it is expected that the group will meet at the end of this month. An announcement is expected in the autumn.

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