It’s certainly not an event which is as anticipated and watched as that of the next Pope, but there are still a lot of speculation and rumours going around leading up to the day when the next Archbishop of Canterbury will be revealed.
What Does the Archbishop of Canterbury Do?
The Archbishop of Canterbury is, in short, the main figure of the Church of England. He symbolises the Anglican church, and while the British Sovereign is the main governor of the Church of England, the Archbishop deals much more closely with the Church.
Apart from his work in the church, he regularly visits institutions of education such as King’s College, London.
The Current Archbishop of Canterbury
Justin Welby is the current Archbishop of Canterbury and has held the title since March 2013. Before taking up the post as Archbishop, he was the Bishop of Durham.
Justin Welby took over from Rowan Williams, who was Archbishop for ten years. Upon Rowan Williams’ retirement, Downing Street announced that Welby would be taking over his position.
When Will There Be a New Archbishop of Canterbury?
As is customary, a new Archbishop of Canterbury will be appointed when the current one, Justin Welby, comes to retirement.
At the moment, there is no knowledge of when he will retire, which is why betting on the next Archbishop requires a great deal of patience.
In the past, previous Archbishops have held the title for at little as one year, whereas others have been in the position for as many as twenty or more.
One of the most famous was Thomas Becket, who held the post for eight years between the years 1162 and 1170.
Betting on the Next Archbishop of Canterbury
If you want to take a bet on who you think the next Archbishop of Canterbury will be, you already have the opportunity to place your bet, even though there is no news yet of Justin Welby retiring.
PaddyPower is currently the only bookmaker which allows these special bets, and has a favourite already – Nick Baines, the current Bishop of Leeds.
Before this position, he held the title of Bishop of Bradford, giving him years of experience in this field. With odds of 6/1, PaddyPower certainly thinks he has a good chance upon Justin Welby’s retirement.
Sharing the top spot with Nick Baines is Stephen Cottrell, a man who has been a bishop for more than ten years now. Currently, he is the Bishop of Chelmsford, but before being elected for his current office, he was the Bishop of Reading.
James Jones, John Pritchard and Michael Nazir-Ali all have odds of 25/1 with PaddyPower, putting them in the bottom spots.
It’s easy to see why Michael Nazir-Ali is so far down the list, since he hasn’t held a position as bishop in England since 2009. Although he is a visiting bishop to the United States’ Diocese of South Carolina, it’s unlikely that he will be seen as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.