Thursday, 5 April 2012

Response to consultation on new Archbishop

This response draws on responses from a group of four

a) two experienced laity (both active members of Church of England), one with extensive ministry to shut-in disabled and sick believers
b) two ordained ministers with differing churchmanship, both published Christian writers and preachers (Church of England).

We all hold that the Archbishop’s current role and remit is untenable, which is why Archbishop Williams went early. We think schism will soon split CofE under any one leader jeopardising its valuable parish system, institution and overseas influence. Together, we put forward these three options: 

a) Appoint two equal Archbishops with Monarch as Head of the unified CofE. This would  prevent schism causing orthodox believers leaving with their funds -bankrupting the CofE. Hence:
i) one liberal-secular Archbishop (e.g.Cantuar)
ii) one orthodox (reformed, since it is due) Archbishop
The orthodox Archbishop could be located either in UK (e.g. York or London) or outside UK - but he would be elected by the global orthodox Anglican communion not appointed by state or Commissioners. The two Archbishops would alternate at official state engagements, functions.

b) Abolish all Archbishop and Bishops in Church of England as set out in The (CofE’s) Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), get rid of burden and costs of palaces, pensions, cars, offices. Appoint a democratic Assembly (like Synod) and two year rotating one or two “President(s)  of the Assembly" (male or female). It would solve the divisive “women bishops” row and deliver democratic representation, offering a much needed voice for the marginalised. See further details see here and here

c) If a) and b) are impossible, appoint one reformed Archbishop (Rowan Williams is a liberal and a reformed Archbishop is due next). We all recommend 1 Timothy 3: 1-7 as the key description of the qualities required. For my own “22 criteria for an Archbishop” see here:

Three people agreed they want an Archbishop who will tone down the Archbishop’s "paraphernalia”  (Roman pagan in origin) and ceremonial which competes with Roman Catholicism. “Such ridiculous garb and pomp” was one comment.  Another was “The UK population is no longer impressed by pantomine....”

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