Is The New Archbishop Of Canterbury Being Decided On Twitter?

The Church of England is rumored to be using Twitter to “seek the views of people of all faiths and none” to help choose the new Archbishop of Canterbury. It may seem like an odd choice, but some of the candidates are pretty active on Twitter. Yes, even clergy tweet.

The Church of England has a solid presence on Twitter, with tweets sharing Psalms, snippets of Scripture and daily prayers. In a recent exchange, a follower asked if the Church is really planning to use social media to search for a new Archbishop of Canterbury. The response, that “there [was] no such consultation planned,” called the rumor an “exaggeration.” This prompted the follower, the Church Mouse, to press a bit further. “Was the whole story made up?” Church Mouse asked. The Church said to “wait for real announcements,” but did not entirely dismiss the rumor as untrue.


The process for selecting an Archbishop is usually private, and it typically takes around nine months. The Church seems to be right on track timing-wise for finding a successor, as the current Archbishop, Dr. Rowan Williams, will be leaving at the end of December.

If you want to check out some of the candidates, you can find these three on Twitter right now: The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Justin Welb, the Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, and the early front-runner for the job, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

Do you think gathering opinions of the candidates on social networks is a good idea? It’s a great way to get feedback on a wide range of topics, of course, but will it be particularly useful or relevant here?

(Cross photo from Shutterstock)

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.