ABC Welby enthronement March 2013


undefinedThe Most Revd Justin Welby (pictured) has been formally enthroned as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans in a service at Canterbury Cathedral.

The enthronement service was attended by about 2,000 guests, including Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prime Minister and archbishops and bishops from around the world, including the bishops of Chester, Stockport and Birkenhead.

The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster, who was a senior tutor at St John’s College, Durham, when Justin Welby was a theology student there, said: “I recall the new Archbishop of Canterbury as an excellent student. I have kept in touch with him now and again over the years, and I have every confidence that he will be an outstanding Archbishop of Canterbury.”

For the first time in history, a woman – the Venerable Sheila Watson, Archdeacon of Canterbury – carried out one of the two enthronements.

She firstly installed the archbishop on the diocesan throne in the cathedral, before he was then sworn in as the Archbishop of Canterbury by the Dean of Canterbury, the Very Rev Robert Willis, on the marble chair of St Augustine.

Born in 1956 in London, 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.

Justin Welby 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.