"Some time in the next two months – maybe next week – the new archbishop of Canterbury, primate of England and head of the Anglican communion worldwide will be appointed. The process by which he (sic) will be chosen is barely more transparent than it was when Henry VIII first persuaded Thomas Cranmer to consolidate his breakaway foundation. The Crown Nominations Commission has been meeting in secret conclave in a secret location, paring down the candidates until one preferred name emerges. The PM and the Queen then approve his appointment. Candidates tend to be bishops already (so no chance of a woman) but there's no formal application or interview. More open, perhaps, than the election of a pope – but not much. Letting in the light would not immediately arrest the church's decline, but at least it would link it to ordinary life. The pageant and tied palace are non-negotiable, so the appointment process must be grabbed for the opportunity it is. Give churchgoers the vote, have a hustings in every pulpit and a ballot box by the font. It would compel leaders to move on from their inward-looking arguments over sex and women and, as the church would put it, allow the faithless an encounter with the sacred. In the US, where there have been elections since 1919, the Episcopal church is a liberal, campaigning movement with a woman at its head. In England, there'd be one other welcome consequence: at least one member of the House of Lords would be elected." - Editorial, The Guardian,
At the other end of the media scale the Mail Online reports that Christians have often despaired of the true spiritual message of the Nativity being heard highlighting a Church of England-backed campaign to raise awareness of Jesus Christ by portraying him as a toy doll (illustrated above). The image with the slogan He cries, He wees, He saves the world is to be "emblazoned on bus stops, advertising hoardings and in newspapers in the weeks leading up to Christmas." Alongside the £100,000 poster campaign, radio adverts will tell the Nativity story in the style of a celebrity chef. The idea is, apparently, to make the birth of Christ seem more ‘modern’. As one person commented: ‘I don’t think my non-Christian friends and relations would be at all impressed by the ad or even understand what it was trying to achieve.’ The article goes on to say that the Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Bradford and one of the favourites to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury, has given his enthusiastic support. Jesus wept!
With deadlock in the CNC, God help the Church of England.