09 November 2012
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend
Justin Welby for election as the 105th Archbishop of
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: "I don't think anyone could be more surprised
than me at the outcome of this process. It has been an experience,
reading more about me than I knew myself. To be nominated to
Canterbury is at the same time overwhelming and astonishing. It is
overwhelming because of those I follow, and the responsibility it
has. It is astonishing because it is something I never expected to
"One of the hardest things will be to leave Durham. I work with a
group of wonderful senior colleagues and remarkable clergy and lay
people. It is an astonishing part of the country, one which as a
family we were greatly looking forward to living in for many years.
The people are direct, inspiring and wonderfully friendly. In many
ways it has been the ancient cradle of British Christianity. It is
a place of opportunity and an even greater future than its
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."
Notes to editors:
For further information, including Bishop Justin's opening
comments to this morning's press
conference, see http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org
Biographical details of the Right Reverend Justin Welby and
about the roles of an Archbishop of Canterbury are attached, along
with other relevant background material.
Born in 1956 in London, the Right Reverend Justin Welby was
educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he
studied history and law. For 11 years - five in Paris and six in
London - he worked in the oil industry, becoming group treasurer of
a large British exploration and production company. He focused
mainly on West African and North Sea projects. During this period
he became a lay leader at Holy Trinity, Brompton in London, having
been a council member at St Michael's Church in Paris.
His father's family were German Jewish immigrants who moved to
England to escape anti-Semitism in the late 19th century, and
integrated quickly. His British ancestors, on his mother's side,
include several clergymen.
A major influence both on Justin and his wife Caroline was their
experience of personal tragedy. In 1983 their seven-month old
daughter died in a car crash in France. Six years later in 1989,
after sensing a call from God, Bishop Justin stood down from
industry to train for ordination
He took a theology degree at St John's College, Durham, in which
he focused on ethics - particularly in business. He has since
published articles on ethics, international finance and
reconciliation. His booklet, 'Can Companies Sin?', drawing on his
experience in the oil industry, evolved from his dissertation at
theological college. He has frequently said that the Roman Catholic
approach to Christian social teaching, beginning with the
encyclical of Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum, up to Pope Benedict XVI's
Caritas Veritate, has greatly influenced his social thinking.
For 20 years, his ministry has blended deep devotion to his
parish communities with Church work around the world, especially in
areas of conflict.
After being ordained Deacon in 1992, he spent 15 years serving
Coventry Diocese. His Curacy was at All Saints Chilvers Coton with
St Mary the Virgin Astley, in Nuneaton. In 1995 he became Rector of
St James, Southam, a small market town in the same Diocese - and
also the next year of St Michael and All Angels, Ufton, the
neighbouring parish. He helped revive both churches, growing their
congregations and launching bereavement and baptism teams, among
other things. Between 2000 and 2002 he also chaired an NHS hospital
trust in South Warwickshire.
In 2002, he was made a Canon of Coventry Cathedral, where he ran
the reconciliation work based there. With Canons Andrew White and
Stephen Davis, he worked extensively in the field in Africa and the
Middle East. He has a particular interest in Kenya, the DRC and
Nigeria, where he was and remains involved in work with groups
involved in conflict in the north. In the Niger Delta, he has
worked on reconciliation with armed groups. He met with religious
and political leaders in Israel and Palestine, and on one trip to
Baghdad reopened the Anglican Church with Canon Andrew White,
shortly after the allied invasion. In 2006 he also took
responsibility for Holy Trinity Coventry, the main city centre
church, as Priest-in-charge.
He left Coventry five years later, being installed Dean of
Liverpool on 8 December 2007, replacing the Right Reverend Rupert
Hoare. Liverpool Cathedral is the largest cathedral in England. Its
local area, Toxteth, is among the most deprived in north-west
Europe. During his deanship, he brought the Cathedral into much
greater contact with its local community, working with asylum
seekers and in partnership with neighbouring churches. The
Cathedral also hosted events from a TUC rally to royal services.
Over his four years, during which he also continued to work on
reconciliation and mediation projects overseas, the Cathedral's
congregation increased significantly.
In 2011, he returned to the place where his journey towards
becoming Archbishop began: on 2 June 2011, he was announced as the
new Bishop of Durham, taking over from the Right Reverend Tom
Wright. He was enthroned at Durham Cathedral on 26 November, and
drew parallels between Liverpool and Durham - noting both the
struggles and the enduring spirit of the two places.
On 9 November 2012, the Right Reverend Justin Welby was
announced as the 105th Archbishop of the See of Canterbury. He will
succeed Dr Rowan Williams, who is retiring at the end of December
after 10 years as Archbishop. He will be enthroned at Canterbury
Cathedral on 21 March 2013.
An expert on the politics and history of Kenya and Nigeria, he
has lectured on reconciliation at the US State Department. In the
summer of 2012, he was asked to join the Parliamentary Commission
on Banking Standards.
His interests include French culture, sailing and politics
He is married to Caroline, who studied Classics at Cambridge,
where they met. They have two sons and three daughters.
Trinity College, Cambridge M.A. 1978
Société Nationale Elf Aquitaine, Paris 1978-1983
Elf UK plc, London 1983-1984,
Enterprise Oil plc, London, 1984-1989
St John's College, Durham, B.A and Dip.Min. 1992
Deacon 1992, Priest 1993
Assistant Curate of All Saints, Chilvers Coton and St Mary the
Virgin, Astley 1992-1995
Rector of St James, Southam, and St Michael and All Angels, Ufton,
Diocese of Coventry 1995 - 2002
Canon Residentiary, Coventry Cathedral 2002 - 2005
Canon Residentiary and Sub Dean, Coventry Cathedral 2005 -
Priest-in-Charge, Holy Trinity, Coventry 2007
Dean of Liverpool 2007 - 2011
Elected Bishop of Durham on 2 June 2011. Bishop Justin was
consecrated at York Minster on 28 October and enthroned at Durham
Cathedral on 26 November 2011.
The main roles of the Archbishop of
The various roles and responsibilities of the Archbishop of
Canterbury have developed over more than 1400 years of history. The
one constant is his ministry as a senior bishop, though the nature
and purpose of his authority differs in different contexts
Historically the central role, and the source of the
archbishop's authority, is as Bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury
(the local church of Canterbury. His diocese in East Kent has a
population of 890,000 people and comprises 261 parishes in an area
of nearly 1,000 square miles.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the Primate of All England (the
'first bishop' of England), and shares several roles with the
Archbishop of York. For well over a thousand years the distinction
of the Diocese of Canterbury has given its bishop formal
responsibility as a 'metropolitan' - the first among the bishops of
a region. He has authority (also known as 'jurisdiction') at all
times in the 30 dioceses of his Province - 29 in southern England,
and 1 in Continental Europe. York has the same roles in relation to
the 14 dioceses of his Province.
Based on his oversight in the Church of England, the Archbishop
of Canterbury became the original sign of the unity of the bishops
and local churches of the Anglican Communion - all 34 provinces in
communion with See of Canterbury, a total of about 80 million
members throughout the world which has developed over the last 200
years or so. He is the focus and spokesman of its unity today, but
shares his oversight as president of the Communion with other
In the last two areas of dialogue and activity - Ecumenical
relationships between Christian Churches, and Inter Religious
relationships between different traditional world religions - the
Archbishop has no formal authority. But his role in England and the
UK, and his leadership in the Communion at large, give him
significant influence and the responsibility to speak
authoritatively for the faith and witness of the Church, the
Anglican Church in particular.
Outline of procedures for the Appointment of an
Archbishop of Canterbury:
Since 2007 the agreed convention in relation to episcopal
appointments has been that the Prime Minister commends the name
preferred by the Commission to the Queen. The second name is
identified in case, for whatever reason, there is a change of
circumstances which means that the appointment of the CNC's
recommended candidate cannot proceed.
Once the Queen has approved the chosen candidate and he has
indicated a willingness to serve, 10 Downing St announces the name
of the Archbishop-designate.
The College of Canons of Canterbury Cathedral formally elect the
new Archbishop of Canterbury.
The election is confirmed by a commission of diocesan bishops in
a legal ceremony (the Confirmation of Election), which confers the
office of Archbishop on him.
The new Archbishop does homage to Her Majesty.
The new Archbishop is formally enthroned in Canterbury
Further details about the Outline of procedures for
the appointment of an Archbishop of Canterbury can be found