London Times: CNC agreed on Welby as first choice

UPDATED: see below

With a caveat about the lack of named sources:

Bishop of Durham leads as rivals for Canterbury trail ($)

Ruth Gledhill Religion Correspondent

Last updated at 12:01AM, October 1 2012

David Cameron may have to break the deadlock over the choice of the next Archbishop of Canterbury, according to a former member of the committee charged with nominating Rowan Williams’s successor.

The call came as sources said that the Crown Nominations Commission had agreed on the first name but was divided over the “runner-up” to submit to Downing Street. Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham and a former oil industry executive, has secured the necessary two-thirds majority to be recommended as first choice. But members seem divided over whether the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James, or the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, should be the second choice.

Going by tradition, the first choice would be appointed the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Update – Lifted from the comments, with thanks:

As I understand it, the process is to choose two persons, each of whom must receive a 2/3 vote. Only then is a separate vote taken to determine who is the first choice. It is then determined if the first choice is willing and able and that is the person chosen. The second name is only a backup in case of a problem at this stage.

So the idea that the “first choice” has been made — unless there is some informal agreement among the group — doesn’t match how things are supposed to go. Of course, the whole thing is “supposed” to be confidential, so it’s off to a bad start — unless this is the sort of “confidential” that really means “leaks to test the waters are expected; but noting definitive, please.”

– Tobias Haller

UPDATE: The Rt. Rev. Justin Welby wrote in the Diocese of Virginia’s July 9th issue of Center Aisle:

The Answer to Division in the Anglican Communion is Mission

And yet … and yet we find that in parts of the communion, or all over the communion in aspects of our lives, there is a sense of focus, even of reconciliation, and it comes not from endless debate and discussion of what achieves this, but principally from mission and its collateral benefits.

By mission I mean two things. First, it is the conscious engagement of churches at local, diocesan, provincial, national and global levels with the challenges and issues that diminish flourishing in the human race. Whether global or local, mission means building bridges from the world of the Kingdom of God into the world of human life and sin and celebration and weakness and strength.

Secondly, mission means taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ across that bridge, so that not only are we seen to be nice people doing nice things (there is a certain amount of British irony about that) but, with the good wishes, good intentions and helpful hands, there is the love of Christ that constrains us, that drives us forward, and that, when allowed to reign and rule in our individual lives and in the lives of societies and communities, transforms structures and practices and permits human flourishing.

Read more at Center Aisle.

The Guardian interview with Welby from July.

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