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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Archbishop Rowan Williams confirmed in office as Archbishop of Canterbury

Monday 2nd December 2002

Dr Williams officially took office as Archbishop of Canterbury in a legal ceremony known as the Confirmation of Election. It took place in St Paul's Cathedral in London on December 2nd 2002.

The confirmation of the election of the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has taken place at St Paul's Cathedral. In a formal ceremony, nine bishops of the Church of England (including the Archbishop of York) confirmed that Rowan Douglas Williams had been properly chosen and elected as Archbishop of Canterbury by the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral.

Dr Williams now formally becomes Archbishop of Canterbury and assumes the title and style of the office.

Dr Williams said:
"It's a very humbling thing to be included in this long succession of Archbishops and a very humbling thing to be aware of the trust that has been placed in my hands.

"I pray for God's guidance as I seek to meet this new challenge – a challenge I face with a sense of inadequacy but also with hope, with joy and with enthusiasm. I am deeply grateful for all the support that has been given to me and the prayers that are being offered."

Later this month, Dr Williams and his family will move to Lambeth Palace. After a period of rest, retreat and preparation, he will be formally enthroned in Canterbury Cathedral on February 27th 2003 and begin a full public ministry as Archbishop of Canterbury.

From the final declaration of the Commissioners:

"Therefore having weighed and considered the matter with the assistance of the learned in law, We do by virtue of the authority vested in Us confirm the Election of the Most Reverend Rowan Douglas Williams to the See of Canterbury

And We commit unto the Archbishop now elected and confirmed, the care, government and administration of the Spirituals of the Archbishopric of Canterbury

And We do pronounce, decree and order by this Our definitive Sentence or Final Decree which We make and publish in this matter, that the said Archbishop so elected and confirmed, shall be inducted into the real actual and corporal possession of the said See."

The Commissioners were:

Archbishop of York, Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr David Hope
Bishop of London, Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres
Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt
Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd David Stancliffe
Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd Peter Selby
Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd Michael Nazir-Ali
Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd John Saxbee
Bishop of Lichfield, Rt Revd Keith Sutton
Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Richard Harries

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