Thursday, June 10, 2010

What Happens to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Got ya! Well, here is the process for selection of the Archbishop of Canterbury. I am hopeful we will see this occur soon -- real soon -- like this year.

Appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury

Outline of procedures for the appointment of an Archbishop of Canterbury

o The Archbishop of Canterbury having informed the Queen of his intentions and Her Majesty having accepted the resignation, the Archbishop announces his decision and the date of his retirement; the Privy Council subsequently declares the See and Archbishopric of Canterbury vacant.

o The Prime Minister, after consultation, appoints a communicant lay member of the Church of England to chair the Crown Appointments Commission, which oversees the selection of a new Archbishop of Canterbury.

o The Vacancy-In-See Committee in the Diocese of Canterbury meets to:
- produce a Statement of Needs (the diocese's assessment of the qualities and skills required of the next occupant).
- choose four members to sit on the Crown Appointments Commission.

o The Crown Appointments Commission is formed, comprising the Chair, the four members from the diocese, the Archbishop of York, a bishop elected by the bishops to take the place of the retiring Archbishop and the three clergy and three lay members elected by General Synod as standing members. (In addition, the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Archbishops' Appointments Secretary and the Prime Minister's Appointments Secretary are non-voting members.)

o Names are suggested to the members of the CAC, from a wide variety of sources including the general public. The members decide which names to put forward for formal consideration by the Commission.

o The Crown Appointments Commission meets, following an extensive consultation process. The gathering continues over two and a half days - in three phases:
- Review of background material gathered from consultations in the diocese, the Church and the wider country, including the Vacancy-In-See Committee's Statement of Needs.
- Consideration of candidates
- Shortlisting and voting: through prayer, discussion and voting, two names are elected, each of which commands a two-thirds majority of the Commission.

o The Commission sends the two names to the Prime Minister for consideration.

o Assuming he is content with them, the Prime Minister commends one of those names to the Queen. (The Prime Minister may request a further name or names through the same Commission process). Once the chosen candidate has indicated a willingness to serve, 10 Downing Street announces the name of the Archbishop-designate.

o The Archbishop-designate is presented at a news conference.

o The Dean and Chapter of the diocese of Canterbury formally elect the new Archbishop of Canterbury. The election is confirmed in a legal ceremony.

o The new Archbishop takes up office and is formally enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral.

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