John Sentamu popular choice as next Archbishop of Canterbury

A poll has found that most Christians would like to see John Sentamu become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

The current Archbishop of York was the first choice across the Christian denominations, with 45% of Pentecostals identifying Dr Sentamu as their favourite, 35% of Roman Catholics and 43% of Anglicans.

The poll by ComRes for Premier Christian Radio found that in total, close to two in five Christians wanted Dr Sentamu as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Respondents were asked to choose from a list of 12 potential candidates, including the Bishop of Bradford the Rt Rev Nick Baines, the former Bishop of Durham Tom Wright, the Bishop of Liverpool the Rt Rev James Jones, and the Bishop of Coventry the Rt Rev Christopher Clocksworth.

Of the more than 500 Christians surveyed, 41% had not made up their minds yet.

The second choice for Christians after John Sentamu was Tom Wright, with 8% of people saying they want him as next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Respondents were also asked to choose the characteristics and beliefs thought to be most important for the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

"A desire to stand up for the beliefs and values of Christians" was chosen by 90% of Christians as the most important characteristic.

Only 34% of 18 to 44-year-olds said they felt a traditional interpretation of the Bible was important, compared to 64% of those aged 65 and over.

The vast majority of respondents - 94% - said they felt the post of Archbishop of Canterbury still has relevance today.

The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, announced earlier this year that he is to step down from the role by the end of December.

Following his departure, he will take up a new position as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge next January.