Norwich Bishop hedges bets on Archbishop role
The Archbishop of Canterbury role is an almost impossible one believes the Bishop of Norwich, but he has not completely ruled himself out from it, if approached. Keith Morris reports.
In an interview with BBC Radio Norfolk’s Emma Philpotts, the Rt Rev Graham James, said: “I can’t think that anyone who knows much about it would want it – remember that I have lived at Lambeth Palace and been a chaplain to the two previous Archbishops.
“I can’t imagine them approaching me and the blunt truth is I don’t know what I would do if they did,” he said.
“What I am certain of is that this is a ministry that requires enormous energy, a huge range of gifts if it is to be done well, and the ability to withstand endless public criticism in reaction to what you say, what you do and who you are.
“That makes it a very, very demanding task to do and one that can only be done if you believe that God is calling you to do it and you are sufficiently well-grounded in your relationship with God not to worry what people say about you.”
“Archbishop Rowan Williams said his successor needs the constitution of an ox and the hide of a rhinocerous. These are fruits of the spirit which are not given to many of us,” said Bishop Graham.
“There is a lot of hot air in all of this and you must remember that those who are writing about this in the press don’t have any say in it at all.”
Of bookies making him a front-runner, the Bishop said: “It’s very odd being treated like a racehorse at my time of life. But I am kept in touch with bookies odds through my family.
“I am simply grateful that we have had such a great person in the role for a decade. Rowan has a worldwide ministry which is hugely significant.
“He is much more interested in the mind of God than in his own mind. The tragedy is that we live in an age which is much less interested in the mind of God than it is in the mind of human beings,” said Bishop Graham.