THE office of Archbishop of Canterbury was conferred on the Most
Revd Justin Welby today, during a ceremony under the dome of St
Paul's Cathedral, in London.
The Confirmation of Election was presided over by the Archbishop
of York. The Bishops of Norwich, Leicester, Lincoln, Rochester,
Winchester, Salisbury, and London were also in attendance.
From this point, he is officially Archbishop, though his public
ministry will not begin until after his enthronement in Canterbury
Cathedral on 21 March.
During the ceremony, Archbishop Welby took the Oath of
Allegiance to the Queen, and made a formal written Declaration of
Assent to his election as Archbishop of Canterbury.
Dr Sentamu delivered a short sermon, in which he advised
Archbishop Welby to "take to heart the wisdom of Ecclesiastes".
This had been the Old Testament reading, given by the Bishop of
Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, who is Chancellor of the Diocese
of Canterbury. Dr Sentamu said that Ecclesiastes showed that "life
is not to be found on . . . the final rung of the corporate ladder.
. . It is down here in simple things."
Referring to the New Testament reading (2 Timothy 4.1-8), Dr
Sentamu challenged Archbishop Welby "to take to heart the Apostle
Paul's challenge to preach the gospel. This proclamation must be
relevant, urgent, patient, and intelligent."
The legal formalities of the occasion were interspersed with
hymns, including "Alleluya, sing to Jesus" and "O for a thousand
tongues to sing". The Litany was delivered with dramatic force by
the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres. Prayers were
led by the secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, Canon
Kenneth Kearon; the Prolocutor of the Province of Canterbury, the
Ven. Christine Hardman; and Margaret Swinson, a General Synod
member, acting in her capacity as a Church of England
representative on the Anglican Consultative Council. At the end of
the service, which lasted for about an hour and a quarter, the
congregation stood for a blessing by Archbishop Welby.
Dr Sentamu today published a message of welcome for Archbishop Welby:
"Archbishop Justin Welby brings many gifts to bring to the office
of Archbishop of Canterbury. He has my prayers and my support as he
assumes this challenging role in the service of the Church of
England and of the Anglican Communion worldwide."
See Friday's Church Times for a full