Next Archbishop of Canterbury?

17/03/12 | Posted by Ian Black

With the news that the Archbishop of Canterbury has decided to move on to a new job - who could blame him - speculation about his successor is rife. The postholder has a major role in the life of Christianity in Britain. Here is my shortlist of candidates.

image
 Archbishop of Canterbury letterhead

John: likes to conduct open air baptisms, but has a tendency to antagonise the political leaders with his direct criticism of their personal lives and policies.  He doesn’t dress well and has unusual dietary requirements.  He comes from a line of clergy but has the common touch often drawing large crowds to hear him speak.

Paul: bright, articulate, former teacher who has studied with the best scholars.  He doesn’t hold back from criticising behaviour within churches and religious leaders that he sees as falling short of what is expected of them.  He can produce the most powerful, spiritually alive writing but also can be obscure.  He likes to travel and is very popular on overseas trips.

Peter: a former seafarer, running his own business with his brother.  He can be impetuous and has been known to equivocate under pressure.  If he’s not convinced of the argument he will say so and thinks things through in the cut and thrust of debate.  He is inclusively minded and not afraid to challenge long held traditions when they no longer apply.

Thomas: has a questioning mind and applies the principles of science to faith.  He asks the awkward questions which everyone else is thinking but no one dare say.

Sadly none of these are available for the post, all having died 2,000 years ago: John the Baptist and the Apostles Paul, Peter and Thomas.  But when thinking who makes a good leader, surprising candidates can produce extra ordinary results!  What they all have in common is that they placed proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ as their number one priority.  Everything else served that.

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