FOUR names have been put forward to succeed Dr Katharine
Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the
United States, though more could still emerge before next week's
The four - all men in their fifties and sixties - have been
nominated by the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the
Other names can still be put forward before 12 May, however,
provided that they are accompanied by the written permission of the
The four names so far put forward are: the Rt Revd Thomas
Breidenthal, aged 64, from the diocese of Southern Ohio; the Rt
Revd Michael Curry, 62, from the diocese of North Carolina - the
only non-white candidate; Dr Ian Douglas, 56, from the diocese of
Connecticut; and the Rt Revd Dabney Smith, 61, from the diocese of
All nominees will address the General Convention of the
Episcopal Church in June. Two days later, bishops will go to St
Mark's Cathedral in Salt Lake City, Utah, to pray and reflect
before voting for the next Presiding Bishop.
The candidate elected will not officially start his or her
nine-year term as Presiding Bishop until 1 November.
Dr Jefferts Schori announced last autumn that she would not
stand for re-election. She said that she did not believe she could
serve another nine years in the post.
The decision meant that she could offer the Church a "stronger
and clearer leadership in the coming year", and a "wholehearted
engagement with necessary structural reforms", she said. She would
continue to ensure that the Church became "more fully diverse".
Other elections will also be held during the General Convention
for officers and members of many other church leadership bodies,
including the Executive Council and trustees of the Church Pension