Thinking Anglicans

When will Justin Welby officially become Archbishop of Canterbury?

The answer (it’s 4 February 2013) has been placed on the Archbishop of Canterbury website.

When will Justin Welby officially become Archbishop of Canterbury?

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.

18
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
18 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
14 Comment authors
SusannahLister TongeAnthony ArcherFather DavidErika Baker Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Best wishes to Justin and may he find grace, love and wisdom to serve the church.

But should bishops sit on thrones? What is that all about and what does it say?

Just wondering.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Most businesses would plan succession carefully and include a period of handover to ensure that the company continues to run smoothly.

What is the rationale behind a 3 months long vacancy for Canterbury?
I understand the purpose of an Interregnum in parishes where it is helpful if parish profiles can be written after the current priest has left, but I don’t understand why this would be helpful in a case where the successor has already been chosen and announced.

Savi Hensman
Guest
Savi Hensman

I think the vacancy is only a month or so, Erika, but even so it is not clear to me who is formally in charge if anything momentous should happen!

Father David
Guest
Father David

A three or one month interregnum is nothing compared with the average length of interregna that most parishes have to face. If those churchwardens who maintain the ship between reigns get away with a mere twelve months then they are indeed most fortunate. It saves on the stipends, don’t you know! As for who is formally “in charge if anything momentous should happen!” Well, if the Church is anything like Parliament – then I suppose it is the Archbishop of York. When the Prime Minister is away we can all sleep soundly in our beds knowing that Nick Clegg’s hand… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Fr David, yes, but in parishes an Interregnum makes sense. It allows a parish to think carefully about what kind of priest they would like next, someone to build on the strengths of the previous incumbent and maybe someone with different weaknesses. Parishes change over time and it is important that they have enough time to think about their new parish profile and without any interference or the potential embarrassment of saying something negative about their current priest before he/she has left. Plus, of course, it saves on stipend. But in this case the successor is already known and the… Read more »

american piskie
Guest
american piskie

Surely the guardians of the spiritualities are in charge of the spiritualities, and the Crown no doubt takes charge of the temporalities. I conjecture that if there were an urgent need of a coronation it would fall to Londin. No doubt York could deal with all the pretend stuff like the AC.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Caught a comment in a radio discussion about elitism and people in government to the effect that the new ABC has more experience of business, finance and the economy than the prime minister, deputy prime minister and the chancellor between them.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

But I don’t think he oficially becomes Archbishop until he pays homage to the Queen and the temporalities, currently with her during the Vacancy in See, are restored to him as office holder. This will take place at some point after 4 February.

Peter Owen
Guest

Kevin is correct that the temporalities of the see are not restored until the new Archbishop pays homage to the Queen, which will be some time after 4 February. These would once have included the episcopal residence and estates, but these are all now vested in the Church Commissioners. The only temporalities now administered by the Crown during a vacancy in the see are the patronages of livings of which the bishop is patron by virtue of his see.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“What is the rationale behind a 3 months long vacancy for Canterbury?” – Erika –

My understanding is that the present archbishop of Canterbury remains in that position until the official enthronement of the next Archbishop. Is that not correct?

Simon Kershaw
Admin

“My understanding is that the present archbishop of Canterbury remains in that position until the official enthronement of the next Archbishop. Is that not correct?”

No.

The See of Canterbury became vacant when the outgoing Archbishop’s resignation came into effect at midnight at the end of 31 December 2012.

There is now a formal Vacancy in See.

Philip Hobday
Guest
Philip Hobday

The short interregnum is necessary and desirable. Presumably Bishop Justin will have existing commitments to the Durham diocese he wishes to honour, and I don’t think we’d begrudge him a retreat, a good holiday, and time to move house and office. Legally, the steps required to make him Archbishop can’t begin until his predecessor leaves office. And I can’t imagine anything which would require the personal urgent attention of the incoming Archbishop before he comes into office, but presumably his opinion would be sought on anything major and there will be longstanding arrangements to cover more routine business. A brief… Read more »

Lister Tonge
Guest
Lister Tonge

I was at the Confirmation of Roy Williamson (then a priest) as Bishop of Bradford in 1984. The event took place the evening before his ordination as a bishop the following day. Bishop Colin Buchanan was to be the preacher at that service and was also present at the Confirmation. To describe the event as arcane would be an understatement as the various legal dramatis personae read to one another from their lengthy A4 scripts. Colin Buchanan kept shaking his head and chuckling in what I interpreted as amused disbelief (shared by others of us who were present). At the… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Philip Hobday, when a new government takes over it is usually after an adversarial election process when a new team of people wants to change completely what the previous administration did. I don’t know whether that ought to be a good example for the church to follow. I think business would be a better example, where top management usually have a handover period during which internal processes are explained, introductions made etc. Smooth handovers are something to be proud of, not something to dismiss as unnecessary. I’m sure it would be possible to arrange such a system to give an… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

Far better than “a holiday” for the incoming Archbishop would surely be a Retreat. I’m sure that in his all too brief tenure as Bishop of Durham Justin Welby has already been on pilgrimage to Lindisfarne so I would suggest as a possible venue the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham which never fails to refresh and renew the batteries.

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

The process is certainly arcane, but it works. The confirmation of election is the point at which he actually becomes Archbishop of Canterbury and ceases to be +Dunelm. It is an extraordinary affair, usually held at St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside for regular diocesans. It is a cross between an act of worship (there is liturgy of sorts) and a lawyers’ Dickensian tea party. There are more wigs present (seated around a large table as if in conference) that you can shake a stick at all reading stuff aloud and confirming that all the arcanery is in order. I am not sure… Read more »

Lister Tonge
Guest
Lister Tonge

The ‘lawyers’ Dickensian tea party’ I beheld is well described thus. It was in the Zouche Chapel of York Minster, I believe, since a Northern See was involved.

But it was the ‘episcopal blessing’ from someone still in priest’s orders that seemed the cherry on our tea cake.

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Why can’t these appointments just be confirmed in a sentence on the cofe website, and a signed contract, without the arcane role-play?

And if I may repeat my opening question, why do we even tolerate the concept of ‘enthronement’? Even John Paul I declined a papal coronation.

I’m all in favour of mystery and wonder in ritual, but the legal fripperies mentioned above just seem silly.