Christians want John Sentamu
for next Archbishop of Canterbury
John Sentamu, the current Archbishop of York, would be the top choice of Christians to take over from Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury, according to a new survey on behalf of Premier Christian Radio.
The ComRes poll confirmed that while preferences vary across other potential candidates, and many are undecided, John Sentamu is the favourite with close to two in five of the Christians surveyed saying he was their first choice for the job. And he was first choice across the Christian denominations, including 45% of Pentecostals who took part and 43% of Anglicans.
Respondents were given a list of twelve potential candidates from which to choose, including Nick Baines, Bishop of Bradford; Tom Wright, former Bishop of Durham; James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, and Richard Chartres, Bishop of London.
41% of the Christians surveyed hadn’t yet made up their minds but the closest runner-up to John Sentamu in the poll, Tom Wright, is the first choice for only 8% of Christians, while Richard Chartres is the first choice for just 4%.
The survey also asked participants to choose characteristics and beliefs thought to be most important for the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Top of the list came ‘A desire to stand up for the beliefs and values of Christians,’ with a 90% of Christians giving this the thumbs up. And the overwhelming majority (94%) of Christians believe that the post of Archbishop of Canterbury still has relevance today.
Older Christians are more likely than younger Christians to regard an ability to unite the Church of England, being well-versed in biblical knowledge, and to supporting the view that marriage is between a man and a woman as important characteristics for the next Archbishop to have. In fact, just 37% of 18 to 44’s believe that a traditional interpretation of the Bible is important, compared with 64% of those aged 65 and over.
Notes to Editors
Methodology: ComRes surveyed 569 UK Christians on Cpanel between 26th June and 11th July 2012 by online questionnaire. Data were weighted by denomination to reflect the composition of the UK Christian population according to the 2005 Church Census.