Published: 00:00, 10 January 2002
THE Rt Rev Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, is among the favourites to succeed Dr George Carey who today officially announced his decision to retire as Archbishop of Canterbury.
According to bookmakers William Hill, Dr Nazir-Ali, is THE favourite at 3-1. Hills are also quoting odds of 1,000-1 that the new Archbishop of Canterbury will be a woman. Dr Carey will retire later this year, Lambeth Palace confirmed in a statement issued this morning.
Praising Dr Carey, Dr Nazir-Ali, a respected authority on Christian-Muslim relations, said: "The Archbishop of Canterbury has worked to encourage greater confidence in the Church of England. He has taken every opportunity to make it mission minded in its engagement with contemporary culture.
"In his worldwide role, his appreciation of the importance of Islam must be,in the light of recent events, seen as prophetic. The establishment of dialogue with different traditions in Islam is nothing short of pioneering.
"He is highly respected in the Anglican Communion because he has sought to unite it on a basis of principle and not mere expediency. Ecumenically too, the Archbishop's office has assumed a higher profile and importance."