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Last updated at 18:01 GMT, Monday, 04 February 2013

Ceremony for new Archbishop of Canterbury


4 February 2013

The former Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, will become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury at a service at St Paul's Cathedral in London today, legally confirming his selection last year.


Robert Pigott, BBC Religious Affairs correspondent

Justin Welby, the new Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby will be the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury


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Even by the standards of Church ritual, the confirmation of an Archbishop of Canterbury's election is an extraordinary event. Senior bishops will sit in St Paul's Cathedral as a court of law, using elaborate language and flowery titles to certify Justin Welby in his new post.

The ceremony, little changed over centuries, was originally intended to prevent false claimants being appointed to what were lucrative posts as bishop. Bishop Welby's enthronement, amid colourful ritual and soaring music, is next month in Canterbury Cathedral, and the event has usually eclipsed this legal ceremony.

However, Justin Welby requested that today's event be set in a full church service - including hymns and a sermon - to reflect the essentially religious nature of his new post. As the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, reads and signs a 'final proclamation', Bishop Welby will become archbishop, and spiritual leader of some 80 million Anglicans across the world.


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solemn formal ceremony

court of law

place where judges hear cases and make decisions based on the rules of the country


(of language) elaborate or complicated

lucrative posts

positions that are well paid


ceremony where a person with authority or influence, such as monarch or archbishop, starts their new role




overshadowed or dominated


mostly or primarily


public or official announcement


members of the Church of England

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