Justin Welby receives honorary degree from Durham University

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has today been awarded an honorary degree from Durham University.

The honorary doctor of divinity was given in in recognition of his ministerial achievements and devotion to his parish communities.

It was presented to him at the university's winter graduation ceremony in a service at Durham Cathedral.

Before being appointed Archbishop, Welby served as the Bishop of Durham from 2011 to 2013. He also studied for ordination at Cranmer Hall, St John's College in Durham between 1989 and 1992.

Responding to the news earlier this week the Archbishop said: "To receive this unmerited honour is yet another gift from one of the Church of England's main partners and greatest supporters of theological education. I am hugely grateful.

"Durham is one of the greatest centres of Christianity and I have received its riches again and again," he said.

"From the wonderful teaching and training of my time at Cranmer Hall, through to the extraordinary privilege of being bishop, the home of St Cuthbert has been a blessing to me as to many."

Prof Ray Hudson, Durham University's acting vice-chancellor said: "Justin Welby is remembered as a student with deep faith, personal warmth, and has a hard-working, but humble person of great ability.

"He is a real inspiration to all our students graduating this week."

Former Archbishops of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Lord Carey have also received an honorary doctor of divinity from Durham University.

Welby was awarded an honorary doctorate from Coventry Cathedral in November last year for his longstanding commitment to peace and reconciliation.