From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ACNS - Dr Rowan Williams confirmed as Archbishop of Canterbury

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Fri, 06 Dec 2002 18:05:23 -0800

ACNS 3215     |     ENGLAND	|     2 DECEMBER 2002

Dr Rowan Williams confirmed as Archbishop of Canterbury

In an ancient legal ceremony Dr Rowan Williams was confirmed on 2 December
as "Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and Metropolitan"
at St Paul's Cathedral in London, England.

As required by law the Proctor of the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of
Canterbury produced a certificate of the Archbishop's election and the
Archbishop-Elect gave his consent to his election being confirmed. The
Archbishop of York read out a large parchment from Her Majesty the Queen
asking Dr Williams to serve as Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr Williams then
took the oaths and subscribed to the Declaration of Assent.

The Archbishop of York reminded Dr Williams of "the high trust and weighty
obligations" of his office and outlined the mission and ministry of a bishop
according to the Book of Common Prayer. "A bishop is called to lead in
serving and caring for the people of God and to work in the oversight of the
Church," he said. He also reminded Dr Williams that as chief pastor "he
shares with his fellow bishops a special responsibility to maintain and
further the unity of the Church, to uphold its discipline and guard its

The Proctor said that prior to this day, public notice had been given to
"anyone wishing to oppose the election" during an appointed time. No one had
come forward and outside the cathedral no protesters were on site even
though Dr Williams has been criticised in the press for some of his views.

Since the new Archbishop of Canterbury will have many responsibilities for
the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Chairman and the Secretary General of
the Anglican Consultative Council took part in the service, along with the
Chair of the House of the Laity of the General Synod.

The service noted by its solemnity and legal language also included bible
readings, psalm 21 and prayers. A special litany was composed for the
occasion. The service ended with famous Charles Wesley's hymn "Love Divine."

The bishops of Wales sent a message to Dr Williams thanking God for his life
and ministry and assuring him that his qualities of "spirituality,
integrity, leadership, scholarship and humility" would enhance his
leadership in the Church of England and around the world. Other visitors
included bishops from the USA, Australia and New Zealand as well as the Lord
Mayor of London and ecumenical leaders.

 From now on Dr Williams can rightly sign his correspondence and other
documents as "Rowan Cantuar" (Rowan of Canterbury), according to the ancient
custom whereby a bishop adopts the name of his see, normally in Latin.

The enthronement of Dr Williams will take place on 27 February 2003 in
Canterbury Cathedral. A number of Primates from the Provinces of the
Anglican Communion will be present.

[Photographs to accompany this article are available from

Scenes for the Confirmation of Election ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral,
London, on Monday 2 December 2002. The Most Revd and Rt Hon Rowan Douglas
Williams is now the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury and President of the
Anglican Communion worldwide. Archbishop Williams will be seated in the
Chair of St Augustine on 27 February 2003 in his cathedral at Canterbury.

PHOTOS CREDITED PLEASE: Anglican World/Rosenthal No charge for use if
credited. Additional views may be available.]

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