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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 10 December, 2002, 18:07 GMT
Church picks bishop successor
Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
Dr Rowan Williams leads the Anglican Church
The Church in Wales has picked the Bishop of Reading to replace the former Archbishop of Wales, Dr Rowan Williams, in his local diocese.

Last week, Dr Williams became leader of the Anglican Church worldwide in a London ceremony, also bringing to an end his role as Bishop of Monmouth.

On Tuesday, a 23-member Church in Wales electoral college elected Rt Rev Dominic Walker, 54, as his replacement.

It is the first step to finding a new Church in Wales leader, with a vote expected to pick from the reformed bench of bishops in April.

That means Rt Rev Walker will next year be one of six bishops to be considered for the top job.

Secret ballot

A meeting on Tuesday at St Woolos' Cathedral in Newport numbered six clerical and six lay members from Monmouth, three of each from Wales' five other dioceses and those dioceses' bishops themselves.

Bishop of Monmouth
Name: Dominic Walker
Born: 1948
Area Bishop, Reading and Oxford from 1997
Can and Preb Chich Cathedral 1985-97
RD Brighton 1985-97
They put forward a variety of names in a secret ballot. Rev Walker now has 28 days to accept the psot.

Only when the new bishop is in place can the Church in Wales then fill Dr Williams' shoes at the head of the body.

The Bishop of Llandaff, Barry Morgan, has taken over the duties of Archbishop of Wales until a successor is appointed.

He is hotly tipped by many to take the full role later on.

Prayer influence

Church in Wales spokesman Sin Brynach said: "The election of a new bishop is always an important event within the life of the Church in Wales.

"The system as it stands is seen as one that allows reflection and prayer by all members...

Dr Rowan Williams
Dr Williams was made a Gorsedd bard
"And as one that encourages the Holy Spirit's influence on the decision of the electoral college's members."

Dr Williams, 52, has risked conservative ire by speaking out for homosexuality and against war with a tone that has appeared "liberal".

"It seems to me rather sad, and rather revealing, that when it comes to sex we suddenly become much less intelligent about our reading of the Bible," he said in a recent BBC profile.

Dr Williams also criticised the pomp and circumstance of the Church.

He said the Church was too interested in status and titles.


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02 Dec 02 | Wales
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