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Horsham cleric in running to become Archbishop of Canterbury
2:38pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
A bishop who grew up in Horsham is believed to be a leading contender to become the new Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Crown Nominations Commission meets today to choose a successor to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, who leaves his post as head of the Church of England at the end of this year.
The 16 voting members of the body will choose from a number of possible contenders for the post of 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.
They include the Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, 53, Bishop of Coventry, who grew up in Horsham in the 1970s before leaving for the University of Manchester.
There, he was awarded a first class degree in theology and later a PhD.
The youngest diocesan bishop in the Church of England when he was consecrated in 2008, Dr Christopher Cocksworth is respected by both liberals and evangelicals.
He was principal of Ridley Hall theological college in Cambridge for seven years before being made Bishop of Coventry.
Dr Cocksworth was one of 11 Church of England bishops to sign the Coalition for Marriage petition against same sex marriage, but has not been perceived as a vocal opponent. He has argued that the Church has "deep wisdom to share" on the subject.
He trained for the ministry at St John's College, Nottingham, and began his ordained life as a curate in Epsom in the Diocese of Guildford.
He served as chaplain to the Royal Holloway College, University of London, for five years before becoming director of the Southern Theological Education and Training scheme.
Dr Cocksworth has written a number of books on theology and Christian worship. He is chairman of the Faith and Order Commission of the General Synod.