Archbishop of Canterbury

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Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishopric
anglican
Mobilising Faith Communities in Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict (15862086073).jpg
Angl-Canterbury-Arms.svg
Arms of the Archbishop of Canterbury: Azure, an episcopal staff in pale or, ensigned with a cross pattée argent, surmounted of a pall of the last, edged and fringed of the second charged with four crosses pattée fitchée (pointed) sable
Incumbent:
Justin Welby
since 4 February 2013
Style The Most Reverend
Location
Ecclesiastical province Province of Canterbury
Residence
Information
First holder Augustine of Canterbury
DenominationAnglican
Established597 AD
Diocese Diocese of Canterbury
Cathedral Canterbury Cathedral
Website
www.archbishopofcanterbury.org

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. [1]

A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.

Church of England Anglican church in England, by law established

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.

Anglican Communion International association of churches

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.

Contents

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.

Pallium an ecclesiastical vestment in the Catholic Church: a narrow band, seen from front or back the ornament resembles the letter Y and decorated with six black crosses

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.

Pope leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff or the Roman bishop, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.

Present roles and status

Today the archbishop fills four main roles: [2]

  1. He is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury, which covers the eastern parts of the County of Kent. Founded in 597, it is the oldest see in the English church.
  2. He is the metropolitan archbishop of the Province of Canterbury, which covers the southern two-thirds of England.
  3. He is the senior primate and chief religious figure of the Church of England (the British sovereign is the supreme governor of the church). Along with his colleague the Archbishop of York he chairs the General Synod and sits on or chairs many of the church's important boards and committees; power in the church is not highly centralised, however, so the two archbishops can often lead only through persuasion. The Archbishop of Canterbury plays a central part in national ceremonies such as coronations; due to his high public profile, his opinions are often in demand by the news media.
  4. As spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop, although without legal authority outside England, is recognised by convention as primus inter pares ("first among equals") of all Anglican primates worldwide. Since 1867 he has convened more or less decennial meetings of worldwide Anglican bishops, the Lambeth Conferences.

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 official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury

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.

London Borough of Lambeth Borough in United Kingdom

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 Cathedral city in Kent, England

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.

Archbishop of York second most senior bishop of the Church of England

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.

Bishop of London third most senior bishop of the Church of England

The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.

Bishop of Durham Diocesan bishop in the Church of England

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. [3]

Henry VIII of England 16th-century King of England

Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry 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, to Catherine of Aragon, 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"; he invested heavily in the Navy, increasing its size greatly from a few to more than 50 ships.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Pope and based in Rome

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 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, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

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. [4]

Additional roles

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: [5]

Ecumenical and interfaith

The Archbishop of Canterbury is also a president of Churches Together in England (an ecumenical organisation). [7] 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. [8]

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." [9] 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." [10]

Origins

Arms of the see of Canterbury. Nearly 500 years after the Reformation, the arms still depict the pallium, a symbol of the authority of the Pope and metropolitan archbishops. Angl-Canterbury-Arms.svg
Arms of the see of Canterbury. Nearly 500 years after the Reformation, the arms still depict the pallium, a symbol of the authority of the Pope and metropolitan archbishops.

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). [11] 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. [12] He permitted the preaching of Christianity. [13]

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. [14] In the event, Canterbury was chosen instead of London, owing to political circumstances. [15] 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.

Province and Diocese of Canterbury

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 dioceses of Wales were formerly also under the Province of Canterbury until 1920 when they were transferred from the established Church of England to the disestablished Church in Wales.

View of Canterbury Cathedral from the north west c. 1890-1900 CanterburyCathedral.png
View of Canterbury Cathedral from the north west c.1890–1900

The Archbishop of Canterbury has a ceremonial provincial curia, or court, consisting of some of the senior bishops of his province. [16] 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. [17]

Styles and privileges

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. [18] Immediately below him is the Lord Chancellor and then the Archbishop of York.

Lambeth degrees

The Archbishop of Canterbury awards academic degrees, commonly called "Lambeth degrees".

Residences

The Archbishop of Canterbury's official London residence is Lambeth Palace, photographed looking east across the River Thames Lambeth Palace London 240404.jpg
The Archbishop of Canterbury's official London residence is Lambeth Palace, photographed looking east across the River Thames

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

List of Archbishops of Canterbury

Since 1900, the following have served as Archbishop of Canterbury:

See also

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References

  1. "Announcement of the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury". Archbishop of Canterbury Website. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  2. Archbishop's Roles and Responsibilities Archived 14 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine , Archbishop of Canterbury website. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  3. The Archbishop of Canterbury Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine , website of the Archbishop of York. Retrieved 31 March 2009.
  4. Dr Williams resigns
  5. "Register of Lords' interests". House of Lords. Archived from the original on 7 August 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
  6. "Archbishop installed as first Chancellor". Canterbury Christ Church University. 12 December 2005. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  7. "The Presidents of Churches Together in England". Churches Together in England. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  8. Hickman, Baden (19 May 2000). "Lord Coggan of Canterbury". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  9. "Madrid Interfaith Dialogue Conference: Beginning of a Process". Saudi-US Relations Information Service. Archived from the original on 15 May 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  10. Niles, D. Preman (1989). Resisting the threats to life: covenanting for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. Geneva: WCC Publications. ISBN   9782825409640.
  11. Wacher, J., The Towns of Roman Britain, Batsford, 1974, especially pp. 84–6.
  12. Catholic Encyclopedia: Bertha.
  13. Bede, Ecclesiastical History , i, 25.
  14. Bede, Ecclesiastical History, i, 29.
  15. Brooks, N., The Early History of the Church of Canterbury, Leicester University Press, 1984, pp. 3–14.
  16. Order of Service from the Enthronement of the 104th Archbishop in 2003 Archived 2 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  17. Canterbury Diocese — Synod News Archived 15 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  18. Whitaker's Almanack , 2008, p43 – (Precedence, England and Wales)
  19. "Bekesborne Archbishops Palace" (26 July 2017). Gatehouse-Gazetteer.info. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
    Tim Tatton Brown, Lambeth Palace: A History of the Archbishops of Canterbury and Their Houses (2000) p.73-4