1,000-year-old ceremony to confirm Bishop of Durham as next Archbishop of Canterbury-elect

Right Revd Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, who will become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. 'Photographed in front of the stained glass window in the east wall of Sunderland Minster.

Right Revd Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, who will become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. 'Photographed in front of the stained glass window in the east wall of Sunderland Minster.

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SENIOR clergy and lay people from the Diocese of Canterbury took part in a medieval tradition to confirm Justin Welby (pictured) as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury-elect.

The 35-strong College of Canons met at Canterbury Cathedral’s 14th-century Chapter House to take part in the formality, which dates back more than 1,000 years.

The process of electing the next Archbishop of Canterbury by the cathedral community is enshrined within its constitution and can only take place once there has been a royal command.

Only one name featured on the ballot sheet for the College of Canons.

As is traditional, the candidate was not invited to attend the ceremony, which was chaired by the Dean of Canterbury, the Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis.

Former oil executive Bishop Welby, the Bishop of Durham, will be confirmed as the Archbishop of Canterbury at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on February 4.

His enthronement will take place at Canterbury Cathedral on March 21.

During the enthronement service, he will be placed on two thrones – the diocesan throne as Bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury, and the chair of St Augustine, as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Bishop Welby, 56, replaces Dr Rowan Williams, who departed as the head of the Church of England and spiritual leader of the 77million-strong Anglican Communion on December 31.