Committee considers next Archbishop of Canterbury

The Crown Nomination Committee is meeting today to consider the appointment of the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

The 16-member committee is meeting over two days in an undisclosed location to decide who to recommend as the successor of Dr Rowan Williams.

There is much speculation over who the committee will nominate, with Bishops Christopher Cocksworth, Richard Chartres, Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu among the favourites.

Only two names will be put forward to Downing Street at the end of the two days – one being the preferred choice of the committee and the second an acceptable alternative.

The name will then be approved by the Queen, before a public announcement is expected to be made by Lambeth Palace in October.

The Church of England is asking people on Twitter to pray for the committee with the hashtag #prayforthecnc.

The Church’s Director of Communications, the Rev Arun Arora said: “We know there are lots of people who will be praying for the CNC at the moment. Over the next two days the CNC will need the gifts of guidance and wisdom as they together come to a decision.

"Just as we pray for those we love and those in need, so we also pray for those who shoulder responsibility that God will guide and support them.”

A prayer has been specially written for the occasion:

Almighty God,
you have given your Holy Spirit to the Church
to lead us into all truth:
bless with the Spirit's grace and presence
the members of the Crown Nominations Committee.
Keep them steadfast in faith and united in love,
that they may seek your will, manifest your glory
and prepare the way of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.