Friday, 9 November 2012

Archbishop 105

Delighted to hear the news of the next Archbishop of Canterbury this morning. I think we all need to keep Justin Welby, his wife Caroline and their family in our prayers - and also the people of the Durham Diocese for whom this is probably not such good news. I am somewhat startled to realise that he trained at the same college (St John's/Cranmer Hall, Durham) where I did my training, but a year after me! Now that's old, isn't it, when the Archbishop of Canterbury was at college after you were?! I think he brings a geat deal of experience and wisdom from both within and without the church and, together with his ability to express himself carefully and in a manner which is straightforward to understand, this all seems to bode well - a useful blend in an Archbishop. Added to that, he has a reputation for being able to handle conflict and bring a measure of reconciliation in difficult circumstances. Praise God for someone brave enough to take up the role.  Here is the press release.  

Announcement of the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury
Friday 9th November 2012
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Justin Welby for election as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. He will succeed Dr Rowan Williams who is retiring at the end of December after ten years as Archbishop. The Right Reverend Justin Welby, aged 56, is currently Bishop of Durham. He will be enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury Cathedral on 21st March 2013.

He said today: "I don't think anyone could be more surprised than me at the outcome of this process. It has been an experience, reading more about me than I knew myself. To be nominated to Canterbury is at the same time overwhelming and astonishing. It is overwhelming because of those I follow, and the responsibility it has. It is astonishing because it is something I never expected to happen.
“One of the hardest things will be to leave Durham. I work with a group of wonderful senior colleagues and remarkable clergy and lay people. It is an astonishing part of the country, one which as a family we were greatly looking forward to living in for many years. The people are direct, inspiring and wonderfully friendly. In many ways it has been the ancient cradle of British Christianity. It is a place of opportunity and an even greater future than its past.”

Dr Rowan Williams issued the following statement:
"I am delighted at the appointment of the Right Reverend Justin Welby to Canterbury. I have had the privilege of working closely with him on various occasions and have always been enriched and encouraged by the experience. He has an extraordinary range of skills and is a person of grace, patience, wisdom and humour. He will bring to this office both a rich pastoral experience and a keen sense of international priorities, for Church and world. I wish him - with Caroline and the family - every blessing, and hope that the Church of England and the Anglican Communion will share my pleasure at this appointment and support him with prayer and love."

There is a good biography of him which goes beyond the usual platitudes at

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