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Announcement of the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury

Bishop Justin Welby. Photo: Guardian

Friday 9th November 2012

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Justin Welby for election as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.

He will succeed Dr Rowan Williams who is retiring at the end of December after ten years as Archbishop.

The Right Reverend Justin Welby, aged 56, is currently Bishop of Durham. He will be enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury Cathedral on 21st March 2013.

He said today:

“To be nominated to this post is both astonishing and exciting. It is something I never expected, and the last few weeks have been a very strange experience. It is exciting because we are at one of those rare points where the tide of events is turning, and the church nationally, including the Church of England has great opportunities to match its very great but often hidden strengths. I feel a massive sense of privilege at being one of those responsible for the leadership of the church in a time of spiritual hunger, when our network of parishes and churches and schools and above all people means that we are facing the toughest issues in the toughest place.”

Dr Rowan Williams issued the following statement:

"I am delighted at the appointment of the Right Reverend Justin Welby to Canterbury. I have had the privilege of working closely with him on various occasions and have always been enriched and encouraged by the experience.

"He has an extraordinary range of skills and is a person of grace, patience, wisdom and humour. He will bring to this office both a rich pastoral experience and a keen sense of international priorities, for Church and world. I wish him - with Caroline and the family - every blessing, and hope that the Church of England and the Anglican Communion will share my pleasure at this appointment and support him with prayer and love."

The Rt Hon the Lord Luce, chair of the Crown Nominations Commission said:

“I am delighted that Bishop Justin has accepted The Queen's Invitation to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

It was a privilege to chair the Crown Nominations Commission tasked to nominate a successor to Archbishop Rowan Williams and I am grateful to the members for their tireless work. The Commission was determined to identify the significant issues facing the Church of England and the Anglican Communion in the years ahead and having done that we worked hard to find the best person to take up those challenges. We were privileged to have a wide range of talent in the Church from which to choose.

I believe that we have found that person in Bishop Justin who has a deep commitment to the faith and a significant breadth of experience and I am confident that there are many gifted leaders in the Church who will do their utmost to work with him and to support him.”

More about Bishop Justin Welby's opening statement

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