Primate enthuses about new Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop Fred Hiltz says new Archbishop of Canterbury will make ‘a great ambassador.’ Photo: Marites N. Sison
Archbishop Fred Hiltz says new Archbishop of Canterbury will make ‘a great ambassador.’ Photo: Marites N. Sison
Published November 17, 2012

The primate of the Anglican Church of Canada says the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will be “a great ambassador” who can steer “holy conversations.”

Welby, 56, is the bishop of Durham and succeeds Archbishop Rowan Williams, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Speaking at the fall meeting (Nov. 15-18) of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) in Mississauga, Ont., Archbishop Fred Hiltz spoke of Welby’s intellectual capacity, negotiation skills and deep commitment to reconciliation, mission and ecumenical relations. “I think we can all look forward to Welby’s leadership,” said Hiltz, who first met Welby in 2009.

The Canadian primate, along with all the primates in the worldwide Anglican Communion, has been invited to attend Welby’s enthronement in Canterbury Cathedral on March 21, 2013.

Hiltz expressed best wishes on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada in a letter inviting the new Archbishop of Canterbury to visit, possibly around the time of General Synod 2016 in Toronto. “We rejoice in his appointment and assure him of warm welcome when he comes to Canada,” said Hiltz.

An executive in the oil industry for 11 years, Welby left to pursuit a degree a theology in 1989, six years after the death of his infant daughter. He was ordained a deacon in 1992 and spent 15 years serving the diocese of Coventry as curate and rector of various parishes. In 2007, Welby was installed as dean of Liverpool Cathedral, the largest cathedral in England, and three years later, he became the bishop of Durham.

According to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website, Welby’s 20-year ministry involves conflict resolution in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

He and his wife Caroline have two sons and three daughters.




  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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