IF THE cope and mitre look familiar, they are - even though the
Bishop wearing them has not been seen for some time. The Revd Derek
Williams, from Peterborough diocese, reminds us
that the robes in which our new Archbishop of Canterbury was
enthroned, and is now often seen, originally belonged to the late
Bishop Ian Cundy of Peterborough.
They were given to Bishop Cundy when he became Bishop of Lewes
in 1992, as a leaving gift from St John's College, and Cranmer
Hall, in Durham, where he had been on the teaching staff and where
the then Justin Welby had been one of his students.
Both the Welbys and the Cundys worshipped in the same church in
Durham, and they became good friends, recalls Jo Cundy, whose
husband died in 2009: "This set of vestments has very special
associations for me and the family, and so we retained them in the
hope that one days this 'mantle' would pass to the right person.
And so it did.
"When Justin was appointed Bishop of Durham, we decided to offer
the vestments to him. They found a new life, and fitted him
It seems that when he was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury,
Bishop Welby declined to have new robes made for his enthronement,
and decided to wear the "Cundy cope", as it has become known. "Ian
would have been delighted," Mrs Cundy says. "Never could we have
imagined that, within a year of receiving the robes, Justin would
be nominated Archbishop of Canterbury, and the cope and mitre would
be en route to Canterbury."