What Christians are saying about the next Archbishop of Canterbury
After the announcement of Bishop Justin Welby as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, here’s a roundup of what Christians are saying.
Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu
Bishop Justin Welby has many gifts and unique experience to bring to this daunting office. More importantly he, like Archbishop Rowan, is a man of God. I have been praying for him, will go on doing so with renewed vigour, and will continue to work with him as a brother and friend in Christ. He can count on the same brotherly affection and co-operation that I have given Archbishop Rowan.
The tipsters and lobbyists’ predictions can now return to silence. The appointment of an Archbishop is neither akin to a horse race nor a presidential campaign, and it is a relief that the rumour-mill which has been grinding out misinformation, has now ground to a halt.
This country and our world need a missionary to share with them the all-encompassing message of the love of God in Jesus Christ, who rose gloriously from an ignominious death. That is the great role to which Bishop Justin has been called.
Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols
I know that Bishop Welby will bring many personal gifts and experience to his new role. As the future Primate of the Church of England, I am sure that his ministry, like that of his predecessor Archbishop Rowan Williams, will provide an important Christian witness to this country over the coming years.
In fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ’s prayer that his followers may all be one, I hope that we will endeavour to strengthen the bonds of Christian friendship and mission already established between the Catholic Church and the Church of England. I look forward to working closely with Bishop Welby in the service of the common good and in the common witness we can give to all the people in our land.
Archbishops’ Missioner and leader of the Fresh Expressions team, Bishop Graham Cray
I am delighted with the appointment of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury. Throughout his ministry he has been committed to the growth of the church. In Liverpool he was part of a church deeply committed to fresh expressions. I look forward to working with him. Our church has a missionary leader.
The Bishop of London, the Rt Reverend Richard Chartres
Justin has the gifts, the energy and the time to bring about the changes at the centre which the Church of England so urgently requires. I have already congratulated him personally and he knows he will have my full and enthusiastic support. I'm also sure that everyone within the Diocese of London will look forward to working with him.
Church Army Chief Executive and former Archbishops' Council Member, Mark Russell
I am delighted, excited, and thrilled by the news that Justin Welby is to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Bishop Justin is a radical thinker, and he understands how to change organisations. I believe his appointment will bring the Church of England encouragement and challenge in equal measure. This is an inspirational appointment, and Church Army joins me in assuring Bishop Justin of our love and prayers as he prepares to take office. I hope the whole Church will rally behind Bishop Justin and that he won’t have to suffer the continual back biting that Archbishop Rowan had to endure.
Executive Director of HOPE, Roy Crowne
Justin Welby’s career in the oil industry and role as a former Chairman of an NHS Hospital Trust among other roles means he has insight into the world of work, where the majority of people spend most of their waking hours. His appointment is good news for the Church as we seek new ways to engage in mission in word and action. The Church is at a strategic time when there are many internal issues to be addressed but we are confident that, in his new post, Justin Welby will continue to be outward-looking, equipping the local church to do the same, making an impact, sharing hope and building community.
Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, Nicky Gumbel
Delighted that @Bishopofdurham is to be next Archbishop of Canterbury. Please pray for Justin and Caroline, and their family
Christian Aid Director Loretta Minghella
Archbishop Rowan’s leadership on issues of international development and the role of churches in the fight against poverty across the world has been exceptional. He has been a great source of insight, wisdom and inspiration and we are very grateful for his unstinting encouragement and support of Christian Aid’s work. We look forward to building a strong relationship with his successor. Both will be in our prayers during this time of transition.
As people want to know what I think about the appointment of Justin Welby as the new Archbishop of Canterbury, let me say here that I am very excited. I’m excited not just because I am privileged to count Justin as a friend, but for other reasons. I am excited because of what Justin represents. Eager to pigeonhole him, the media have pointed out that Justin is an evangelical with strong links to Holy Trinity Brompton and the Alpha Course. Some commentators have seen in this appointment nothing more than a desire to let an evangelical have a turn at the ‘top job’ but, I believe that there is more than some sort of theological see-saw here. In this appointment, there is the acknowledgement of the fact that evangelicals are playing an increasingly major role in every area of the Anglican Church. Whether it be in financial giving, in making disciples, in caring for the poor, in planting churches, in academic theology or in supplying candidates for ordination, it is Bible-believing, Christ-honouring evangelicals who are leading the way. This appointment can also surely be seen as a recognition of the vital work that HTB and like-minded churches have been doing within the Anglican church worldwide over the last twenty-five years, not least through the Alpha Course.
General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, Bishop Angaelos
Based on the strong fraternal relations between our Churches in the United Kingdom, both as leadership and people, and on my own personal relationship with Lambeth Palace, I look forward to our continued collaborative efforts on matters that unite us and our congregations. At this time I must also pay tribute to a very faithful Church leader and a dear friend in His Grace Archbishop Rowan, thanking him for his tireless efforts for the Church of God and Christian minorities all over the world. I pray that God continues to empower and utilise him for His work and the glory of His name. We are well aware of the significant challenges that face Bishop Justin as he takes on this new role, but are also prayerfully confident that, led by the Holy Spirit, the Lord will provide him with wisdom and discernment to faithfully serve the Church of England, the world-wide Anglican Communion, and above all, the Church of God.