Following discussions within the Church of England regarding the administrative burden suffered by the two existing Archbishops (The Archbishops of Canterbury and York) and the possibility of an appointment of a third, Michael Fabricant has tabled Parliamentary questions which were answered today by the Church Commissioners.
Michael Fabricant has told the Member of Parliament speaking for the Commissioners in the House of Commons: "If the Church of England does decide to appoint a third Archbishop in order to relieve the administrative burden endured by the present two incumbents, then it might do well to consider Lichfield. The Diocese is one of the most historic in the country, it serves the midlands and is virtually mid way between Canterbury and York, it has an impressive and ancient Cathedral and Close, and it did originally have its own Archbishop albeit back in 787 when he was first appointed. So there is a precedent. Lichfield has a unique claim on a third Archbishopric and this should be borne closely in mind by the Church of England in its considerations".
It is understood that the Church may appoint a third Archbishop in two or three years time. Michael Fabricant adds "If an Archbishop of Lichfield were appointed alongside Canterbury and York, I believe it would not only strengthen Lichfield’s ecclesiastical position, but it would also stimulate tourism, help put us more on the map, and create more jobs in our area.
"As for where the Archbishop might live, that would be up to the Chapter of the Cathedral and others and certainly not for me. But it does seems to me that Darwin House might be a possibility if it were no longer practical to run it as a museum in the years to come. It would be a fine and fitting place for an Archbishop now that this beautiful and historic building has been so lovingly restored and would give it a firm future".