Archbishop of Canterbury
since 4 February 2013
|Style||The Most Reverend|
|Ecclesiastical province||Province of Canterbury|
|First holder||Augustine of Canterbury|
|Diocese||Diocese of Canterbury|
|Part of a series on Anglicanism|
|Liturgy and worship|
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justin Welby, who was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013. Welby is the 105th in a line which goes back more than 1400 years to Augustine of Canterbury, the "Apostle to the English", sent from Rome in the year 597. Welby succeeded Rowan Williams.
A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.
The Church of England is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor. The Church of England is also the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, and to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury.
The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion. Founded in 1867 in London, England, the communion currently has 85 million members within the Church of England and other national and regional churches in full communion. The traditional origins of Anglican doctrines are summarised in the Thirty-nine Articles (1571). The Archbishop of Canterbury in England acts as a focus of unity, recognised as primus inter pares, but does not exercise authority in Anglican provinces outside of the Church of England.
From the time of Augustine until the 16th century, the archbishops of Canterbury were in full communion with the See of Rome and usually received the pallium from the Pope. During the English Reformation, the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope. Thomas Cranmer became the first holder of the office following the English Reformation in 1533, while Reginald Pole was the last Roman Catholic in the position, serving from 1556 to 1558 during the Counter-Reformation. In the Middle Ages there was considerable variation in the methods of nomination of the Archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops. At various times the choice was made by the canons of Canterbury Cathedral, the Pope, or the King of England. Since the English Reformation, the Church of England has been more explicitly a state church and the choice is legally that of the Crown; today it is made by the reigning monarch on the advice of the British prime minister, who in turn receives a shortlist of two names from an ad hoc committee called the Crown Nominations Commission.
Full communion is a communion or relationship of full understanding among different Christian denominations that share certain essential principles of Christian theology. Views vary among denominations on exactly what constitutes full communion, but typically when two or more denominations are in full communion it enables services and celebrations, such as the Eucharist, to be shared among congregants or clergy of any of them with the full approval of each.
The pallium is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Roman Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the Pope, but for many centuries bestowed by the Holy See upon metropolitans and primates as a symbol of their conferred jurisdictional authorities, and still remains papal emblems. Schoenig, Steven A., SJ. Bonds of Wool: The Pallium and Papal Power in the Middle Ages (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2017. ISBN 978-0-8132-2922-5. In its present form, the pallium is a long and "three fingers broad" white band adornment, woven from the wool of lambs raised by Trappist monks. It is donned by looping its middle around one's neck, resting upon the chasuble and two dependent lappets over one's shoulders with tail-ends on the left with the front end crossing over the rear. When observed from the front or rear the pallium sports a stylistic letter 'y'. It is decorated with six black crosses, one near each end and four spaced out around the neck loop. At times the pallium is embellished fore and aft with three gold gem-headed stickpins. The doubling and pinning on the left shoulder likely survive from the Roman pallium. The pallium and the omophor originate from the same vestment, the latter a much larger and wider version worn by Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic bishops of the Byzantine Rite. A theory relates origination to the paradigm of the Good Shepherd shouldering a lamb, a common early Christian art image — but this may be an explanation a posteriori, however the ritual preparation of the pallium and its subsequent bestowal upon a pope at coronation suggests the shepherd symbolism. The lambs whose fleeces are destined for pallia are solemnly presented at altar by the nuns of the convent of Saint Agnes and ultimately the Benedictine nuns of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere weave their wool into pallia.
The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the bishop of Rome, leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state representing the Holy See. Since 1929, the pope has official residence in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City, the Holy See's city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.
Today the archbishop fills four main roles:
In the last two of these functions, he has an important ecumenical and interfaith role, speaking on behalf of Anglicans in England and worldwide.
The archbishop's main residence is Lambeth Palace in the London Borough of Lambeth. He also has lodgings in the Old Palace, Canterbury, located beside Canterbury Cathedral, where the Chair of St Augustine sits.
Lambeth Palace is the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury in England, in north Lambeth, on the south bank of the River Thames, 400 yards south-east of the Palace of Westminster, which houses the Houses of Parliament, on the opposite bank.
Lambeth is a London borough in south London, England, which forms part of Inner London. Its name was recorded in 1062 as Lambehitha and in 1255 as Lambeth. The geographical centre of London is at Frazier Street near Lambeth North tube station, though nearby Charing Cross on the other side of the Thames in the City of Westminster is traditionally considered the centre of London.
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour.
As holder of one of the "five great sees" (the others being York, London, Durham and Winchester), the Archbishop of Canterbury is ex officio one of the Lords Spiritual of the House of Lords. He is one of the highest-ranking men in England and the highest ranking non-royal in the United Kingdom's order of precedence.
The Archbishop of York is a senior bishop in the Church of England, second only to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The archbishop is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of York and the metropolitan bishop of the Province of York, which covers the northern regions of England as well as the Isle of Man. The Archbishop of York is an ex officio member of the House of Lords and is styled Primate of England.
The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.
The Bishop of Durham is the Anglican bishop responsible for the Diocese of Durham in the Province of York. The diocese is one of the oldest in England and its bishop is a member of the House of Lords. Paul Butler has been the Bishop of Durham since his election was confirmed at York Minster on 20 January 2014. The previous bishop was Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. The bishop is one of two who escort the sovereign at the coronation.
Since Henry VIII broke with Rome, the archbishops of Canterbury have been selected by the English (British since the Act of Union in 1707) monarch. Since the 20th century, the appointment of archbishops of Canterbury conventionally alternates between Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals.
Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. He was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father Henry VII. Henry is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage annulled. His disagreement with the Pope on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is also known as "the father of the Royal Navy", in which he invested heavily, increasing its size greatly from a few to more than 50 ships.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.
The current archbishop, Justin Welby, the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 4 February 2013. As archbishop he signs himself as + Justin Cantuar. His predecessor, Rowan Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 27 February 2003. Immediately prior to his appointment to Canterbury, Williams was the Bishop of Monmouth and Archbishop of Wales. On 18 March 2012, Williams announced he would be stepping down as Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of 2012 to become Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.
In addition to his office, the archbishop also holds a number of other positions; for example, he is joint president of the Council of Christians and Jews in the United Kingdom. Some positions he formally holds ex officio and others virtually so (the incumbent of the day, although appointed personally, is appointed because of his office). Amongst these are:
The Archbishop of Canterbury is also a president of Churches Together in England (an ecumenical organisation).Geoffrey Fisher, 99th Archbishop of Canterbury, was the first since 1397 to visit Rome, where he held private talks with Pope John XXIII in 1960. In 2005, Rowan Williams became the first Archbishop of Canterbury to attend a papal funeral since the Reformation. He also attended the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI. The 101st archbishop, Donald Coggan, was the first to attend a papal inauguration, that of Pope John Paul II in 1978.
Since 2002, the Archbishop of Canterbury has co-sponsored the Alexandria Middle East Peace process with the Grand Mufti of Egypt. In July 2008, the archbishop attended a conference of Christians, Jews and Muslims convened by the King of Saudi Arabia at which the notion of the "clash of civilizations" was rejected. Delegates agreed "on international guidelines for dialogue among the followers of religions and cultures."Delegates said that "the deepening of moral values and ethical principles, which are common denominators among such followers, would help strengthen stability and achieve prosperity for all humans."
It has been suggested that the Roman province of Britannia had four archbishops, seated at Londinium (London), Eboracum (York), Lindum Colonia (Lincoln) and Corinium Dobunnorum (Cirencester).However, in the 5th and 6th centuries Britannia began to be overrun by pagan, Germanic peoples who came to be known collectively as the Anglo-Saxons. Of the kingdoms they created, Kent arguably had the closest links with European politics, trade and culture, because it was conveniently situated for communication with continental Europe. In the late 6th century, King Æthelberht of Kent married a Christian Frankish princess named Bertha, possibly before becoming king, and certainly a number of years before the arrival of the first Christian mission to England. He permitted the preaching of Christianity.
The first Archbishop of Canterbury was St Augustine (not to be confused with St Augustine of Hippo), who arrived in Kent in 597 AD, having been sent by Pope Gregory I on a mission to the English. He was accepted by King Æthelbert, on his conversion to Christianity, about the year 598. It seems that Pope Gregory, ignorant of recent developments in the former Roman province, including the spread of the Pelagian heresy, had intended the new archiepiscopal sees for England to be established in London and York.In the event, Canterbury was chosen instead of London, owing to political circumstances. Since then the Archbishops of Canterbury have been referred to as occupying the Chair of St. Augustine.
A gospel book believed to be directly associated with St Augustine's mission survives in the Parker Library, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, England. Catalogued as Cambridge Manuscript 286, it has been positively dated to 6th century Italy and this bound book, the St Augustine Gospels, is still used during the swearing-in ceremony of new archbishops of Canterbury.
Before the break with papal authority in the 16th century, the Church of England was an integral part of the Western European church. Since the break the Church of England, an established national church, still considers itself part of the broader Western Catholic tradition (although this is not accepted by the Roman Catholic Church which regards Anglicanism as schismatic[ citation needed ] and does not accept Anglican holy orders as valid) as well as being the "mother church" of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The Report of the Commissioners appointed by his Majesty to inquire into the Ecclesiatical Revenues of England and Wales (1835) noted the net annual revenue for the Canterbury see was £19,182.
The Archbishop of Canterbury exercises metropolitical (or supervisory) jurisdiction over the Province of Canterbury, which encompasses thirty of the forty-two dioceses of the Church of England, with the rest falling within the Province of York. The four Welsh dioceses were also under the Province of Canterbury until 1920 when they were transferred from the established Church of England to the disestablished Church in Wales.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has a ceremonial provincial curia, or court, consisting of some of the senior bishops of his province.The Bishop of London—the most senior cleric of the church with the exception of the two archbishops—serves as Canterbury's provincial dean, the Bishop of Winchester as chancellor, the Bishop of Lincoln as vice-chancellor, the Bishop of Salisbury as precentor, the Bishop of Worcester as chaplain and the Bishop of Rochester as cross-bearer.
Along with primacy over the Archbishop of York, the Archbishop of Canterbury also has a precedence of honour over the other bishops of the Anglican Communion. He is recognised as primus inter pares, or first amongst equals. He does not, however, exercise any direct authority in the provinces outside England, except in certain minor roles dictated by Canon in those provinces (for example, he is the judge in the event of an ecclesiastical prosecution against the Archbishop of Wales). He does hold metropolitical authority over several extra-provincial Anglican churches, and he serves as ex officio Bishop of the Falkland Islands.
At present the archbishop has three suffragan bishops:
The Bishop of Maidstone was previously a second actual suffragan bishop working in the diocese, until it was decided at the diocesan synod of November 2010 that a new bishop will not be appointed.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York are both styled as "The Most Reverend"; retired archbishops are styled as "The Right Reverend". Archbishops are, by convention, appointed to the Privy Council and may, therefore, also use the style of "The Right Honourable" for life (unless they are later removed from the council). In formal documents, the Archbishop of Canterbury is referred to as "The Most Reverend Forenames, by Divine Providence Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and Metropolitan". In debates in the House of Lords, the archbishop is referred to as "The Most Reverend Primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury". "The Right Honourable" is not used in either instance. He may also be formally addressed as "Your Grace"—or, more often these days, simply as "Archbishop", or "Father".
The surname of the Archbishop of Canterbury is not always used in formal documents; often only the first name and see are mentioned. The archbishop is legally entitled to sign his name as "Cantuar" (from the Latin for Canterbury). The right to use a title as a legal signature is only permitted to bishops, Peers of the Realm and peers by courtesy. The current Archbishop of Canterbury usually signs as "+Justin Cantuar:".
In the English and Welsh order of precedence, the Archbishop of Canterbury is ranked above all individuals in the realm, with the exception of the Sovereign and members of the Royal Family.Immediately below him is the Lord Chancellor and then the Archbishop of York.
The Archbishop of Canterbury awards academic degrees, commonly called "Lambeth degrees".
The Archbishop of Canterbury's official residence in London is Lambeth Palace. He also has a residence, named The Old Palace, next to Canterbury Cathedral on the site of the medieval Archbishop's Palace. The archbishops had palaces on the periphery of London and on the route between London and Canterbury.
Former palaces of the archbishops include
Since 1900, the following have served as Archbishop of Canterbury:
The Lambeth Conference is a decennial assembly of bishops of the Anglican Communion convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The first such conference took place in 1867.
The Archbishop of Westminster heads the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster, in England. The incumbent is the metropolitan of the Province of Westminster, chief metropolitan of England and Wales and, as a matter of custom, is elected president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, and therefore de facto spokesman of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. All previous archbishops of Westminster have become cardinals. Although all the bishops of the restored diocesan episcopacy took new titles, like that of Westminster, they saw themselves in continuity with the pre-Reformation Church and post-Reformation vicars apostolic and titular bishops. Westminster, in particular, saw itself as the continuity of Canterbury, hence the similarity of the coat of arms of the two sees, with Westminster believing it has more right to it since it features the pallium, a distinctly Catholic symbol of communion with the Holy See.
Frederick Donald Coggan, Baron Coggan, was the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury from 1974 to 1980. As Archbishop of Canterbury, he "revived morale within the Church of England, opened a dialogue with Rome and supported women's ordination". He had previously been successively the Bishop of Bradford and the Archbishop of York.
The Province of Canterbury, or less formally the Southern Province, is one of two ecclesiastical provinces which constitute the Church of England. The other is the Province of York. It consists of 30 dioceses, covering roughly two-thirds of England, parts of Wales, and the Channel Islands, with the remainder comprising continental Europe.
The Diocese of Southwark is one of the 42 dioceses of the Church of England, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The diocese forms part of the Province of Canterbury in England. It was created on 1 May 1905 from part of the ancient Diocese of Rochester that was served by a Suffragan Bishop of Southwark (1891–1905). Before 1877 the area was part of the Diocese of Winchester. The diocese covers Greater London south of the River Thames and east Surrey. Since the creation of the episcopal area scheme in 1991, the diocese is divided into three episcopal areas each of which contains two archdeaconries:
The Diocese of Canterbury is a Church of England diocese covering eastern Kent which was founded by St. Augustine of Canterbury in 597. The diocese is centred on Canterbury Cathedral and is the oldest see of the Church of England.
The history of the Anglican Communion may be attributed mainly to the worldwide spread of British culture associated with the British Empire. Among other things the Church of England spread around the world and, gradually developing autonomy in each region of the world, became the communion as it exists today.
The Anglican ministry is both the leadership and agency of Christian service in the Anglican Communion. "Ministry" commonly refers to the office of ordained clergy: the threefold order of bishops, priests and deacons. More accurately, Anglican ministry includes many laypeople who devote themselves to the ministry of the church, either individually or in lower/assisting offices such as lector, acolyte, sub-deacon, Eucharistic minister, cantor, musicians, parish secretary or assistant, warden, vestry member, etc. Ultimately, all baptized members of the church are considered to partake in the ministry of the Body of Christ. "...[I]t might be useful if Anglicans dropped the word minister when referring to the clergy...In our tradition, ordained persons are either bishops, priests, or deacons, and should be referred to as such."
The Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) is a province of the Anglican Communion based in Dodoma. It consists of 28 dioceses headed by their respective bishops. It seceded from the Province of East Africa in 1970, which it shared with Kenya. The current Primate and Archbishop is Maimbo Mndolwa, enthroned on 20 May 2018.
The United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough is a diocese of the Church of Ireland in the east of Ireland. It is headed by the Archbishop of Dublin, who is also styled the Primate of Ireland. The diocesan cathedral is Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.
The Chair of St Augustine or Cathedra Augustini (Latin) is the ceremonial enthronement chair of the Archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury Cathedral, Kent.
Sir David John Moxon is a New Zealand Anglican bishop. He was until June 2017, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. He was previously the Bishop of Waikato in the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki, the archbishop of the New Zealand dioceses and one of the three primates of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. In the 2014 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the Anglican Church.
William Nigel Stock is a British Anglican bishop. From 2013 until his 2017 retirement, he was Bishop at Lambeth, Bishop to the Forces and Bishop for the Falkland Islands; from 2007 to 2013 he was Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.
Timothy Martin Thornton is a British Anglican bishop. Since 6 September 2017, he has been Bishop at Lambeth, Bishop to the Forces, and Bishop for the Falkland Islands. He was previously the area Bishop of Sherborne from 2001 to 2008, the diocesan Bishop of Truro (2009–2017), and a Member of the House of Lords (2013–2017).
Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon is a Nigerian Anglican bishop. Since 2015, he has been Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council. He was previously the Bishop of Kaduna diocese and the Archbishop of the Province of Kaduna in the Church of Nigeria.
The Cross of St Augustine is an award of merit in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is awarded to members of the Anglican Communion who have made significant contributions to the life of the worldwide Communion, or to a particular autonomous church within Anglicanism. It is also awarded to members of other traditions who have made a conspicuous contribution to ecumenism. It is the second highest international award for service within Anglicanism.
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