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Archbishop of York Retires

1 August 2004

The announement has been made this morning that the Archbishop of York is stepping down from his post in February 2005.
David Hope is intending to fulfil his desire to continue ministry in a
quiet parish, presumably in the Yorkhire Dales where he loves to walk.

The appointment of the new Archbishop rests, as with all Bishops, with the Prime Minister representing the Queen. However, under the normal protocol a name will be put forward to the PM by the Crown Nominations Committee (usually two names in order of preference). The procedures of the CNC (previously the Crown Appointments Committee) have been significantly revised in the last couple of years and some of the absurd secrecy was done away with.

A key player in the appointment will be the Prime Minsiter's Appointments Advisor (William Chapman) who will do a lot of the background work in drawing up a list of suitable candidates for the CNC. The Committee is no longer so dependent upon the information given to them because the details held on possible candidates for such appointments are now vetted by the
individuals themselves.

Many do not have much confidence in Mr Chapman after the recent
appointment of the Dean of St. Albans although he maintains that Downing Street was merely following the advice of the Bishop of St. Albans and of Lambeth Palace.

For this apppointment the CNC will consist of six members from the Diocese of York who are elected from the Vacancy in See Committee of the Diocese.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is ex-officio and there are six permanent members elected from the General Synod:
Revd Paul Collier
Canon Penny Driver
Canon Professor Tony Thiselton
Mrs Janet Atkinson
Mr Ian Garden
Dr Elaine Storkey

For this appointment the Chairman will be a layman.

(Note : Mr Nigel Sherlock has subsequently been announced as the Chairman of the Committee.)

In general there has been an attempt to ensure 'balance' in the
appointment of the two archbishops. Therefore many have assumed that withDavid Hope being a clear anglo-catholic and Rowan Williams being a liberal with catholic leanings the next Archbishop of York will be an evangelical. This is quite likely but not certain.

What is needed in any Bishop is someone who will uphold the teaching of Scripture and live by it. They need to be a faithful pastor, teach the truth, refute error and drive out false teaching so as to protect the flock. With the present divisions in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion such qualities are even more important. However, since the most natural pool to choose from is the present bench of Bishops, where are the men who have stood up fearlessly for biblical orthodoxy?

David Phillips
General Secretary, Church Society


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