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When will Justin Welby officially become Archbishop of Canterbury?

Canterbury Cathedral. Photo: Hans Musil

Tuesday 1st January 2013

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 of Canterbury, the Church of England nationally and the wider Anglican Communion.

Consideration of possible candidates took place over several months, and on the Commission’s recommendation the Prime Minister put Bishop Justin’s name forward to Her Majesty The Queen. The announcement of his nomination 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 the Congé d’Élire and Letter Missive from the Crown authorising the Election to take place.

A further legal ceremony, the Confirmation of Election, will take place on 4th February 2013 at St Paul's Cathedral. The Dean of Canterbury will report to a commission of senior diocesan bishops chaired by the Archbishop of York that Bishop Justin has been elected according to statute, and the Archbishop of York, on behalf of his fellow bishops and the wider Church, will confer on him the ‘spiritualities’ of the diocese of Canterbury.

At this point, he becomes the Archbishop of Canterbury - until then he remains Bishop of Durham.

On 21st March, after paying Homage to Her Majesty in his new role, his public ministry will inaugurated in a service at Canterbury Cathedral, to which bishops from the whole Church of England, Primates of the wider Anglican Communion and many ecumenical guests will be invited. The new Archbishop will be installed in two places in the Cathedral - the diocesan ‘cathedra’ 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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