Archbishop of Canterbury: Who are the contenders?

As the Archbishop of Canterbury announces his intention to stand down in December, who are the favourites to replace him?

Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, 62

Image caption Dr Sentamu studied law in Kampala and is an advocate of the Ugandan High Court

Dr Sentamu, the sixth of 13 brothers and sisters, came to the UK in 1974 from Uganda, where he was a critic of dictator Idi Amin.

Known for dramatic interventions, he cut up his dog collar on television in 1997 in protest against Robert Mugabe's rule. He vowed not to wear it until the Zimbabwe president had been removed from power.

Dr Sentamu also pitched a tent and camped in York Minster for a week, foregoing food, in solidarity with those who had suffered in the Middle East conflict.

A former barrister and judge, he was ordained in 1979, serving in churches across south London before being consecrated the Bishop of Stepney in 1996.

As Bishop of Stepney, Dr Sentamu acted as an adviser to the Macpherson Inquiry into the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence. He has also campaigned against guns, knives, drugs and gangs.

More recently, he attracted controversy and racist emails when he spoke out against gay marriage.

Dr Sentamu is married with two grown-up children and two grown-up foster children.

Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, 64

Image caption Dr Chartres delivered the sermon at last year's Royal Wedding

Dr Chartres recently hit the headlines after protesters Occupy London set up camp outside St Paul's Cathedral.

He took over the running of the site after top clerics, including Canon Dr Giles Fraser, resigned after the City of London Corporation and the cathedral took action to evict the protesters.

A friend of Prince Charles, he delivered the sermon at the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last year.

Dr Chartres, who became the 132nd Bishop of London in 1995, attended Hertford Grammar School before studying history at Trinity College, Cambridge.

He taught Ancient History at the International School in Seville, before ordination in 1973.

Appointed Chaplain to Robert Runcie, then Bishop of St Albans, in 1975, he was consecrated Bishop of Stepney in 1992. He is married, with four children.

Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, 54

Image caption Rt Rev Nick Baines is a keen blogger

The Liverpool-born bishop attended one of the city's comprehensive schools before studying modern languages at Bradford University.

He worked as a translator in Germany and for GCHQ as a Russian linguist before being ordained in 1987.

Consecrated as the Bishop of Croydon in 2003, he took up post as the Bishop of Bradford in 2011.

A keen blogger, under the title "Musings of a restless bishop," the bishop is a user of Twitter and regularly appears on BBC Radio 2's "Pause for thought" slot.

Bishop Baines, who is married with three adult children, he says he is "passionate about Christian engagement in the big wide world" meaning the church should "get stuck in" whenever it can.

Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Tim Stevens, 65

Image caption The Bishop recently accompanied the Queen on the first event of her Diamond Jubilee tour

The leader of Church of England bishops in the House of Lords, Bishop Stevens recently criticised the government over the proposed benefits cap.

He said he feared it would discriminate against children from poorer families and wants to see Child Benefit removed from the calculation.

Raised in a rural Essex vicarage, he spent a year in Zambia with Voluntary Service Overseas after leaving Chigwell School.

After studying Classics and English at Selwyn College, Cambridge, he worked for the British Overseas Airways Corporation and the Foreign Office.

Married with two adult children, he was ordained as Curate in East Ham, East London, in 1976 and consecrated as Bishop of Leicester in 1999.

His says his particular interests include interfaith relations, as Leicester has the largest Hindu population in the UK, plus substantial Muslim, Sikh and other faith communities.