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Pilgrim, priest and ponderer. European living in North East England. Retired parish priest, theological educator, cathedral precentor and dean.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Letter to the Church Times: Vote on Bishop's Credentials

I have been asked by someone who does not regularly read the Church Times to post on my blog the letter my wife and I wrote to the paper.  This was about their vote on Bishop Justin Welby’s credentials as future archbishop.  Here is our letter together with the reply from the editor, both published on 23 November.  Further comment welcome, but please no voting!

Sir, ‘Does Bishop Welby have the right credentials for Archbishop?  Vote on…’ (News, 16 November).  What purpose can possibly be served by putting this fatuous question to the vote?

The Bishop of Durham is a remarkably gifted leader and Archbishop-designate.  Putting his credentials to a referendum is hardly designed to foster confidence in what we are sure is going to be a distinguished ministry in this complex and demanding post. It would be better, surely, to solicit prayer for him and his family. We thought better of the Church Times than this tabloid behaviour.

Michael and Jenny Sadgrove

Be it fatuous or not, we thought the readers might like an opportunity to express a view on whether an archbishop needs to have been a diocesan bishop for a greater length of time.  A significant yes vote, for example, might help to alter the criteria on which future appointments are made.  Editor.

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