Archbishop panel split over Church’s future

The panel meeting to appoint the successor to Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is split over the future of the Church.

The Telegraph, By Cole Moreton & Edward Malnick, October 6

It is the decision that 77 million Anglicans around the world are waiting for: who will become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

But nine days after the successor to Dr Rowan Williams was expected to have been named, the Crown Nominations Commission remains silent.

Its work is shrouded in secrecy, but a Sunday Telegraph investigation can reveal that its 16 members are split, not over women bishops or same sex marriages, but the future of the Church itself.

A substantial number of people on the panel would like a man who will reform the structures, finance and strategies of the Church of England and help “re-imagine” it for the modern age.

Their favourite is the Rt Rev Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, a 56-year-old former oil company executive, who is seen as the front-runner.

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  • Bishop of Durham Justin Welby to be Archbishop of Canterbury

    Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, has accepted the post of Archbishop of Canterbury, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

    The Telegraph, By John Bingham & Jonathan Wynne-Jones, November 7

    Sources have confirmed that the Eton-educated bishop will be announced as successor to Dr Rowan Williams as early as Friday, after the Crown Nominations Commission put his name forward to Downing Street.

    It marks a meteoric rise for the former oil executive who has been a bishop for only a year, but insiders described Welby as “the outstanding candidate”.


    But the choice of the 56-year-old to lead the world’s 77 million Anglicans marks a decisive break with the past for the Church.


    Theologically, he is unashamedly part of the evangelical tradition, upholding a more traditional and conservative interpretation of the Bible than some in the Church of England.

    But he is also a strong advocate of more modern styles of worship.

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