Twitter users invited to help choose the new Archbishop of Canterbury.
How progressive. The Telegraph:
Having wrestled with the best way to choose a new leader, the Church of England has decided to use the social networking site Twitter. It will also seek the views of people of all faiths and none, from the Chief Rabbi to Professor Richard Dawkins.
For the first time in history, the long and usually private process will begin with a widespread public consultation, to be finished by the end of May.
The Crown Nominations Commission, which must present the Prime Minister with two possible successors to Dr Rowan Williams, will also ask for contributions from “senior figures in other faiths, the secular world and the life of the nation”.
A spokesman for the Church of England said the invitation would be made through the church press but also through other media including the social networking site Twitter, where the CofE already posts news in nuggets of 140 characters or less. Tweeters and others will be asked to offer names and “views on the needs of the diocese of Canterbury and the wider community”.
This would appear to be good news for the candidates known to be active on Twitter.
The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Justin Welby has 562 followers; the Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, has 3,953; and the early front-runner for the job, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has 21,558.
One of Dr Sentamu’s most recent posts was to point out that the flag above his palace, Bishopthorne, was being flown at half-mast “to remember our brave soldiers killed in Afghanistan”.
Meanwhile, the latest attempt by Dr Williams to heal divisions within the worldwide Anglican Communion was effectively killed off yesterday…