Like millions of other people, I'm praying for Justin Welby as he prepares to take up his new job at Canterbury. I wish him all the best. As the media go over every detail of his life and beliefs, there is a danger that we put our trust in a new archbishop to save the Church. This would be a problem whoever had got the job.
For the first time in history, the announcement of who would succeed to the See of Canterbury was seen first on twitter (via the @Number10press office), before the formal Downing Street and Lambeth announcements of the archbishop elect.
If Welby can hold on to his emphasis on enabling ‘ordinary’ Christians, and those of their neighbours who are seeking a more just and compassionate world, he can offer the kind of leadership needed at a time when idols have been falling, says Savi Hensman, a long-standing commentator on Anglican affairs and church and society issues.
As we approach the first anniversary of the St Paul's protests it saddens Giles Fraser, former canon there, that the Church of England's reaction to Occupy was so reminiscent of its reaction to Chartism. In both cases, popular protest was dismissed as incoherent and unsuccessful, as the Archbishop of canterbury recently suggested about Occupy.
If a future Archbishop of Canterbury were outspoken in defence of church privilege or the right to discriminate or exploit, this could do more harm than good, writes Savi Hensman. It is also important not to expect one man, whatever his gifts and office, to substitute for the wider church community.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, argued in his recent Magna Carta lecture against the idea of a fully elected second chamber at Westminster. As the debate about Lords reform continues, political theologian Graeme Smith seeks to show why the Archbishop is wrong to put his faith in an oligarchic form of democracy rather than one based on full electoral accountability.