England

What does the Archbishop of Canterbury do for the city?

Justin Welby on steps of St Paul's Cathedral
Image caption Justin Welby was enthroned in front of the Prime Minister and Prince of Wales

As he was enthroned as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby became the clerical head of 85 million Anglicans worldwide.

Watched by the Prime Minister and Prince of Wales during the ceremony, he sat upon the chair of St Augustine as the most senior bishop in the country.

However, he will also perform the arguably more lowly task of being the archbishop for the Diocese of Canterbury.

But in a role that will see him leading Christians in more than 160 countries, what does he do for the city?

And could more be done to promote the archbishop as a brand to attract tourists?

'Missing a trick'

The election of Pope Francis saw thousands of devoted Roman Catholics flock to the Vatican.

However, huge crowds did not throng the medieval streets of Canterbury.

Brand expert Jonathan Gabay said he believed Canterbury was "missing a trick" and should be promoting the role of the archbishop more.

"People are looking for heritage and tradition and consistency," he said.

"All of these things add up to the notion that all is well in the world.

"It's a great story - the archbishop is a powerful respected figure, why not make more of it?

"Remember, Christianity is a massive global brand. I would say from a brand point of view, the archbishop heads a brand bigger than Coca-Cola."

'Second to Venice'

However, the chief executive of Canterbury City Council, Colin Carmichael, said the role of the archbishop and cathedral in the city were not downplayed.

He said: "The general feeling is that the cathedral does its own marketing very well, and without being too blasé, tourists know very well about Canterbury and the cathedral.

"So we try and promote the other elements of the city.

"The latest estimate is that eight million people a year come to Canterbury in a city of 50,000 people. We are the second most densely visited city in Europe after Venice."

And he said there was a different dynamic in the Roman Catholic Church, which inspired the crowds outside the Vatican waiting for a glimpse of the Pope.

"It goes back to the fact that the Pope is the head of the Catholic Church - almost like a monarch - and the archbishop very deliberately isn't," he said.

"But without the cathedral, Canterbury would be a small market town that no one would've ever have heard of."

'Serious or not'

The previous archbishop, Rowan Williams, supported two local homeless charities Catching Lives and Porchlight.

Mr Carmichael praised Mr Williams and said he hoped his successor would be as active locally.

"Rowan Williams took it very seriously," he said. "He was in Canterbury a lot and made a point of visiting churches and church schools.

"It depends on the archbishop and what person they are as to whether they take it serious or not."

A spokeswoman for Lambeth Palace said it was too early to say which charities the archbishop might choose to be associated with.

"Canterbury is a place where the Archbishop can be grounded and refreshed and I'm sure he will relish spending time in the beautiful city," she said.

"It's a place where he can do his work as a priest and a bishop. He's looking forward to visiting churches and being immersed in the life of this ancient city."

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