Saturday, 29 September 2012

How the Selection of the Archbishop of Canterbury Works

There's a lot of excitement in the Christian Twittersphere (but nowhere else) about the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury. And I realise that those with a more democratic system for selection of church leaders, or a less Established Church, may be confused.

The first stage in the process is the Public Auditions. This is where anybody who's already a Bishop and may want to do the top job, gets to do a two-minute unaccompanied "slot".

There are some hilarious moments when we realise that some bishops can't sing at all, and Simon Cowell starts to worry about the number of dance troupes.

Based on their first-round performances, the judges divide them up into four sections for the Boot Camp - Men over 45, Women over 45, Under-45s and "Groups". Or, as it turns out, just the one section.

Each candidate then has to come back week after week, to preach a sermon according to that week's "theme". This may be "Spurgeon", "Aquinas", "Wesley", "No relation to the real world" or "Denying a major article of faith". The last one is a trick round, of course.

Once the candidates are whittled down to just two, they have to perform in front of the Prime Minister. The excitement continues, as even when one is clearly recognised as the winner, the PM can decide "William (or, as it may be, Walter or Wallace. But not Wendy) , it won't be you."

The winner then gets a £200 book-writing deal, and the next big royal gig at the Abbey.

Or perhaps they're all praying about it, looking for the Spirit's will in all this, or even going through the Admin. Let's all calm down.


  1. I think we can safely say it won't be Wallace!

  2. I would think that Wallace (aka Wallace and Gromit) would be an ideal Arch Bishop.

    Always having his fat pulled out of the fire by Gromit, who would be his executive assistant at Lambeth Palace.

    What more could the church want?


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