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When does Welby become the Archbishop of Canterbury?

When does Welby become the Archbishop of Canterbury?

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s blog goes through the timeline:

Dr Rowan Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, stepped down from the position on 31st December 2012. Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, was named as his successor on 9th November 2012.

Bishop Justin’s name was submitted to the Prime Minister by the Crown Nominations Commission after a consultation process to determine the needs of the diocese, the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. Consideration of the candidates took place over several months, then the Commission voted to identify a recommended candidate and a second appointable candidate. These names went forward to the Prime Minister.

In this case the recommended candidate was Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham. The Queen approved Justin Welby for election to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury, and an announcement was made by 10 Downing Street on 9th November 2012.

On 10th January 2013, the College of Canons will meet in the Chapter House of Canterbury Cathedral to elect Bishop Justin as the new Archbishop, having received a Congé d’Elire from the Crown confirming that the See of Canterbury is vacant.

A legal ceremony, the Confirmation of Election, will take place on 4th February 2013 at St Paul’s Cathedral. The Dean of Canterbury will confirm to a commission of diocesan bishops that Bishop Justin has been elected according to statute. At this point, the office of Archbishop is conferred on Justin Welby – until then he remains Bishop of Durham.

The Enthronement will take place on 21st March 2013 at Canterbury Cathedral. The new Archbishop will be placed on two thrones – the diocesan throne in the Cathedral Quire as the Bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury, and the Chair of St Augustine as Archbishop of Canterbury.


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Bill Moorhead

Dirk says: “As for England, until the people can elect their bishop, enthronement is probably is honest a term as there is.” Good point. One of the reasons for the kerfuffle in the CofE over women bishops is the fear (?!) of having an unwanted bishop (or “bishop”) imposed on one’s diocese. Not so much a problem in the rest of the Anglican Communion. If you don’t want a woman bishop, then don’t elect one. If your diocesan convention elects a bishop you don’t like, well, that’s always been a possibility, hasn’t it? Get over it.

My impression is that there will always be something of a dissonance between Justin Welby and “enthronement.” This is a good thing!

Dirk C. Reinken

I agree that the term “enthronement” reinforces an imperial view of the church. It’s fun for ceremony, but it also shapes the way we see things.

I do like the image of the chair though, with the bishop as the one who gathers and as a sign of competency to teach.

I’ve kind of liked how Gregory of Nyssa on California puts whoever the preacher is (ordained or lay) in the presider’s chair for the sermon.

I confess to being somewhat troubled by the renovations at Philadelphia Cathedral, where the only immovable feature of the room is the bishop’s chair. While I like flexible space, I prefer greater architectural emphasis on the altar than on the chair.

As for Englalnd, until the people can elect their bishop, enthronement is probably is honest a term as there is. 🙂


I offer congratulations to and prayers for the soon-to-be Archbishop of Canterbury.

The sooner hierarchical churches move away from the concept of enthronement of bishops, the better. All members of the episcopacy are elected to serve the people under their care, and sitting them on a throne is a poor way to remind us all that bishops are the servants of all.

June Butler

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