A panel will decide next week on who will become the new Archbishop of Canterbury - with the Bishop of Norwich as a front-runner for the role.

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Bishop Graham James was ordained in Peterborough in 1975 and was enthroned as Bishop of Norwich in January 2000.

The office for the Diocese of Norwich said yesterday it would not comment until the decision is made by the Crown Nominations Commission.

This panel is made up of 15 men and four women and includes bishops, priests and lay people.

The discussion on who will take over from Dr Rowan Williams will start on Wednesday and is due to last for two days.

Dr Williams resigned in March and his successor will start on January 1 next year.

He will return to academia as a master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Following Dr Williams’ resignation, Bishop Graham, along with Nick Baines, the Bishop of Bradford, and Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, were frequently mentioned as potential successors.

The bookmakers’ favourite at the time was Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

Bishop Graham was born in 1951 in Cornwall and is married to Julie.

He studied at Northampton Grammar School, read history at Lancaster University and did his theological training at Cuddesdon, Oxford.

In 1987 he was appointed as chaplain to the then Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie.

After returning to Cornwall, he was consecrated Bishop of St Germans in 1993. He moved to Norwich in 1999.

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