I think I have read one too many newspaper articles about the front-runners in the Canterbury Steeplechase. My conclusion? The journos don’t quite get it. So it’s blogger’s turn – and here goes. Not an analysis of the horses and riders, nor a comment on any archbishop living or departed, but another angle on what’s needed now.
In addition to being a faithful Christian, an experienced minister and a good bishop, we need someone who…
- has a huge capacity for empathy.
- can talk simple and can talk deep – and can occasionally do both at the same time.
- learns from the poor and is determined that power should be used justly.
- can make people laugh and smile without demeaning anyone.
- loves it that human beings are so diverse and different.
- can absorb and transform the hatred that others will throw at him just because he is there.
- took the ‘making Synod effective’ module when he did his MBA. (Only joking on that one. Sorry!)
- has the energy and courage to step into the fray when conflicts turn nasty.
- has long since got over himself – has the quality of humility.
- has made a few mistakes in his time, has worked to repair any damage he has done in the past.
- is great at taking advice and letting others shine.
- can speak into tragedy with the compassion that sows seeds of healing.
These are the qualities the Church needs to project into the world, through the person of the Archbishop.
Well, that’s my dream. What’s yours?