Welby enthroned as 105th Archbishop of CanterburyLiz Dodd - 21 March 2013
Justin Welby was formally enthroned as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury during a service at Canterbury Cathedral this afternoon.
During the service he was sworn in as head of the Church of England and leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Archbishop Welby used his sermon to urge leaders to tackle social challenges with a courage inspired by their Christian heritage.
"For more than 1,000 years this country has sought to recognise Christ. Slaves were freed, factory laws passed, NHS and social care established. Today's challenges can only be faced with holy courage," he said.
"If we sever our roots in Christ we abandon stability for good decision making. There can be no hope if it is not based in Christ," he added.
Reconciliation and unity were key themes of the ceremony and Archbishop Welby quoted from Pope Francis' inauguration homily in his sermon, after which five representatives from the Anglican Communion left gifts representing their regions on the High Altar.
During the service the archbishop signed an Ecumenical Covenant with the co-presidents of Churches Together.
The choir also gave the first performance of an anthem commissioned by the archbishop's mother and stepfather and composed by Michael Berkeley. It was a setting of words from the Rule of St Benedict. A collect also celebrated St Benedict, today being the feast-day of his passing.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior cabinet ministers attended the service. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, attended the ceremony on behalf of Catholics in England and Wales. Archbishop Nichols gave the second reading from Paul's second letter to the Corinthians.
Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, attended the service on behalf of the Vatican.
Pope Francis today sent a message to the newly confirmed Archbishop of Canterbury. He said he looked forward to meeting Archbishop Welby and assured him of his prayers.
"The pastoral ministry is a call to walk in fidelity to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ," he said. "Please be assured of my prayers as you take up your new responsibilities, and I ask you to pray for me as I respond to the new call that the Lord has addressed to me. I look forward to meeting you in the near future, and to continuing the warm fraternal relations that our predecessors enjoyed."
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