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‘As Shrewd as a Snake and as Innocent as a Dove?’ (Matthew 10.16)

Well, here we go. This is the draft of the Lay Anglicana submission on the person specification for the next ++Cantuar, hereby offered as a coconut shy. Roll up, roll up, one and all and chuck your coconuts! Monday is the deadline, so there is not very much time. If you object to a phrase, by all means say so, but not without offering an alternative.


Anglican Communion:

  • Lay Anglicana respectfully suggests that, since during the next Archbishop of Canterbury’s term of office, there will almost certainly  be a demand from Provinces throughout the Communion for the role of ‘primus inter pares’ (not head) to rotate amongs the various Primates, which should in our view be welcomed by the Church of England, the elusive ability to unite the various factions within the Communion (which we doubt any human being possesses) should not be a criterion.

The Church of England:

  • Traditionally, Cantuar has been chosen alternately from the ranks of the Evangelical wing and the Anglo-Catholics. We urge a departure from this tradition, with the choosing of a candidate who, whatever his personal traditions, sees himself first of all as a follower of Jesus whose role is to harness the various groups within the Church into a more effective proclamation of the Gospel through Mission and Ministry.


Beliefs and Qualities

  • As the number of paid clergy declines, Lay Anglicana hopes very much for the appointment of an Archbishop of Canterbury who sees the need for the empowerment  and further training of the laity, with a view to increasing their role in the leadership of the Church, and rejects the alternative of closing churches for lack of ordained priests.
  • As the Church has voted overwhelmingly in diocesan synods and General Synod for the raising of women priests to the episcopate, and also against the Anglican Communion Covenant, the next Cantuar, in our view,  needs to be drawn from the ranks of those bishops who are not opposed to women bishops, but who are opposed to the Covenant.
  • In this media age, it is desirable that the next Archbishop of Canterbury should be a skilled communicator, reaching out beyond our congregations to all the people of this land with political sensitivity, being prepared also to listen. He also needs the presence and clerical skills to officiate at great state occasions, in fulfilment of his role as Primate of the established Church of the nation.
  • In line with this, the candidate needs to be open to Indaba amongst his own people, fostering peaceful – and loving- coexistence amongst the disparate groups, while remaining open to constructive change. He needs the philosophy of Hooker’s [three-legged stool]  ‘scripture, reason and tradition’ as well as the  Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral as his guides. We would hope that his aim would be to lead an inclusive Church, pastorally and culturally sensitive to all.
  • He will need a spiritual and mental robustness to deal with all that he is likely to face. “



The icon is of Saint Gregory and Saint Augustine – seemed a kinder role model than Thomas a Becket or Cranmer!

The expression ‘three-legged stool’ was removed on advice (see comments) and the phrase in red type was substituted.

4 comments on this post:

UKViewer said...


A pretty good stab at the criteria. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Just a pity we couldn’t put He/Her in the criteria. Next time maybe.

29 April 2012 12:48
Tim Chesterton said...

Did Hooker actually talk about a three-legged stool? I know he talked about scripture, tradition and reason, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t subscribe to the modern Anglican idea that they were three equal sources of authority, and I’m also pretty sure that the stool analogy is not his.

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you, Tim, for saving me from a real howler. Google leaves us in no doubt that there is no evidence (and I don’t have time to read his complete works before tonight’s deadline) that Hooker actually used this phrase. The pro-Covenanters have had much fun mocking the anti-Covenanters for their frequent collation of the two. Will now redraft.

30 April 2012 10:36
29 April 2012 23:44
Tim Chesterton said...

Sorry, Laura, I should have started by saying that I like pretty well everything else about this!

29 April 2012 23:47

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