New Archbishop of Canterbury confirmed at St Paul's ceremony

Mon 04 Feb 2013
By Sarah McAllister

Rt Revd Justin Welby publicly voices opposition to government's Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill putting new Church leader against Government policy.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury believes his opposition to same-sex marriage will not put the Church of England on a collision course with the government. 

His comments came shortly after he was officially confirmed at a legal ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral.  The Rt Revd Justin Portal Welby is now officially known as Lord Archbishop of Canterbury Primate of All England and Metropolitin after the ceremony known as the Confirmation of Election. The 57 year-old has become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, replacing Lord Williams, 62, who held the post for 10 years. 

The Confirmation of Election ceremony was presided over by Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu and attended by the bishops of Norwich, Leicester, Lincoln, Rochester, Winchester, Salisbury and London. 

Archbishop Welby took the oath of allegiance to the Queen during the ceremony, and prayers were said for him, his wife Caroline and their children. Premier's Victoria Laurence was there to witness it. 

The new Archbishop used his first interview with the media to voice his opposition to the Government's Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill. He stated he agreed with the House of Bishops position on the issue that marriage is between a man and a woman. MPs will vote on the proposed legislation for the first time in the House of Commons tomorrow as part of the Bill's second reading before it moves to committee stage.

Over 100 Conservatives MPs are expected to defy the Prime Minister and vote against it. Speaking after the service, Archbishop Welby said he believed the Church of England's opposition to the Bill would not put him and the Church on a collision course with the coalition:

Simon Barrow is the Director of the religious think tank Ekklesia. He told Premier the new Archbishop will bring a fresh approach to the role.

Archbishop Welby will be enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral in March.

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