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Norwich bishop prays not to be next Archbishop

As the Crown Nominations Commission meets today to begin selecting the next Archbishop of Canterbury, one of the leading contenders, the Bishop of Norwich, has told BBC Radio Norfolk that he is "hoping and praying" that God does not choose him.

BishopNorwich370Bishop Graham James, 61, said: "I've not placed a bet on myself [being chosen] and I wouldn't advise anyone to do so.
"The Archbishop of Canterbury role is a hugely important one but of course it's massively demanding because you have lots of expectation placed on you but relatively little power and executive authority.
"I also think, because I'm going to be 62 in the not too distant future it's probably a job for a younger man than me." He added: "It's not to do with the fulfilment of ambition. Anyone who really longs to be the Archbishop of Canterbury is probably not terribly well equipped to do the job.
"I'm fairly sure the whole process will lead, I hope and pray, to God choosing someone other than me."
Asked what he would he do if he was chosen, he replied: "I shall pray a lot more."

The current Archbishop, Dr Rowan Williams, is due to retire in December to take on the post of Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.
The 16 members of the Crown Nominations Committee will carry out an exhaustive assessment of potential candidates and are due to choose two names, probably by the end of Friday.
The Queen, the Church's Supreme Governor, will then approve the chosen candidate.

Bishop Graham, was Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1987 to 1993 and has been the Bishop of Norwich since 1999. He has sat in the House of Lords since 2004 and is married with two children.
The new Archbishop will be taking over leadership of the Anglican church at a crucial time in its history, with divisions a possibility over issues such as homosexuality.
Bishop Graham has previously said that gay marriage would create "new minorities", but approves of civil partnerships and believes it is impossible to mount a theological argument against women bishops.

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.”
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