The new Archbishop of Canterbury is an Evangelical

The office of Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that Justin Welby, a former oil company executive, has been appointed as the next Archbishop of Canterbury (no, they do not have the complete separation of church and state in England). According to the New York Times:

Bishop Welby is regarded as an evangelical conservative in opposing same-sex marriage, but he is also said to take a more liberal position on the ordination of female bishops, favoring the elevation of women to senior church positions….

Welby is said to have traveled widely and to be passionately committed to reconciliation.

His visits to Africa also gave him firsthand contact with African Anglicans who are generally held to be far more conservative on gender and gay issues than some of their Western counterparts, particularly in the United States where Episcopalians are deeply divided.

The article goes on,

His experience both in business and conflict resolution represent a marked departure from his predecessor’s background as a theologian and poet.

Earlier this year, as a member of the upper House of Lords, to which Anglican bishops are routinely appointed, Bishop Welby joined a parliamentary panel scrutinizing the behavior of British banks. He is known as an opponent of corporate excess and has been critical of banks.

And then a final note reminding us about just how different England is from America:

The announcement is the first of several steps leading to Bishop Welby’s consecration as archbishop, including formal approval by Queen Elizabeth II, the titular head of the Church of England, endorsement by the college of canons at Canterbury Cathedral and his enthronement there.


About Matthew J. Tuininga

Matthew J. Tuininga is the Assistant Professor of Moral Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Posted on November 9, 2012, in Anglican Church and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The new Archbishop of Canterbury is an Evangelical.

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