Archbishop of Canterbury enthroned as head of Church
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned of the dangers of abandoning more than 1,000 years of Christianity in Britain, as he was enthroned as head of the Church of England.
The Most Rev Justin Welby claimed advances such as the abolition of slavery, improvements in working conditions in the 19th century and the creation of the NHS had been established as a result of “Christ-liberated courage”.
He warned that modern-day challenges on issues such as the environment, the economy and tackling global poverty could only be faced with “extraordinary Christ-liberated courage”.
“Today we may properly differ on the degrees of state and private responsibility in a healthy society,” he said. “But if we sever our roots in Christ, we abandon the stability, which enables good decision-making.
“There can be no final justice, or security, or love, or hope in our society, if it is not finally based on rootedness in Christ.”
The archbishop was enthroned at a service in Canterbury Cathedral yesterday, attended by more than 2,000 guests including the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prime Minister David Cameron.
It marked the formal start of Mr Welby’s public ministry as leader of the 77 million-strong Anglican Communion, as well as head of the Church of England.
The colourful ceremony featured Punjabi music, African dancers and drummers, and an organ improvisation.
For the first time in history, a female cleric, the Venerable Sheila Watson, Archdeacon of Canterbury, was given one of the key roles of formally enthroning the archbishop on the diocesan throne in the cathedral – symbolising his appointment as Bishop of Canterbury.
The archbishop was then formally enthroned on the 13th-century marble chair of St Augustine.
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