Who would you like to be your next Archbishop of Canterbury? You may think this an odd way to put it. You may be Muslim, Jewish, Roman Catholic, atheist, or just vague. How can the Archbishop of Canterbury belong to you?
Yet if you live in England, he does. The Church of England is “by law established”, and so it is there for any citizen who wants it. The Queen is the Church’s Supreme Governor, and her people, regardless of what they believe, are its people. The Archbishop of Canterbury, who stands at the Church’s head, must serve them. He belongs to them.
But we shall not choose him. This process is nowadays controlled by something referred to, with varying degrees of affection, as the Wash House. The Wash House is the old laundry of Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop’s London residence, and it is now inhabited by the Crown Nominations Committee (CNC).