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David Porter to step down as Welby’s Chief of Staff

26 April 2022

LAMBETH PALACE

David Porter

David Porter

THE Archbishop of Canterbury’s Chief of Staff and Strategy, David Porter, is to stand down in November, Lambeth Palace announced on Tuesday. He will remain on the Archbishop’s staff, however, in a part-time post focused on strategy.

Mr Porter was appointed Chief of Staff and Strategy in 2016, having been the Archbishop’s Director of Reconciliation for the previous three years (News, 11 March 2016). Before this, he was the Canon Director for Reconciliation Ministry at Coventry Cathedral (a post held earlier by Archbishop Welby before becoming Dean of Liverpool in 2007).

As chief of staff, Mr Porter has overseen the staff team at Lambeth Palace, and advised Archbishop Welby on public-policy matters such as Brexit and the pandemic. Mr Porter also sat on the planning group that oversaw the building of the new Lambeth Palace Library building (Features, 19 March 2021), and the group that has planned refurbishments of the Palace.

As the Archbishop’s reconciliation director, Mr Porter played a central part in the process that led to the General Synod’s final approval to enable the consecration of women as bishops. He also oversaw the shared conversations on sexuality, which preceded the Living in Love and Faith project.

Most of his work is behind the scenes, however, and ranges from advising the Archbishop on the Anglican Communion to responding to political developments in Westminster. He was seen most recently beside Archbishop Welby in a video call with Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church (News, 18 March).

A statement from Lambeth Palace says that, from November, Mr Porter “will continue to work part-time with Archbishop Justin in developing a long-term strategy for his three personal priorities of evangelism and witness, reconciliation and prayer, and the Religious life”.

A recruitment process to find a new Chief of Staff will begin shortly, it says.

Mr Porter said on Tuesday: “Having recently marked 40 years in full-time Christian service, it felt like the right moment to step back from being chief of staff. There are too many highlights (and challenges!) to name individually, but it has been a joy and a privilege to serve the Church in this way. I look forward to a new role helping the Archbishop further develop his vision for his three personal priorities.”

Archbishop Welby said: “I am immensely grateful to David for his leadership at Lambeth Palace. He has brought to the role of chief of staff a wealth of wisdom, experience, and Christ-centred vision that has enabled the ministry here to flourish in ways seen and unseen.”

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