The Most Rev Justin Welby has been enthroned as the new Archbishop of Canterbury at the city’s cathedral.

The service was attended by dignitaries including Prince Charles and Prime Minister David Cameron.

Prince Charles applauded the new archbishop after the enthronement was complete.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Enthronement
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as they entered the cathedral

The ceremony got underway despite protesters gathering earlier outside Canterbury Cathedral, demonstrating against cuts to public services and the so-called bedroom tax.

New Pope Francis, who was elevated to the head of the Catholic Church on March 13, earlier sent a message on the enthronement in England.

Pope Francis said: “I thank you for the kind words contained in your message to me at my election, and I wish in turn to offer my greetings and best wishes on the occasion of your enthronement at Canterbury Cathedral.”

Protesters outside the cathedral opposing NHS privatisation and homophobia

Speaking ahead of the inauguration at the cathedral, the new archbishop told Sky News he was looking forward to meeting and working with Pope Francis as both religious leaders start their high-profile roles.

He told Sky News Sunrise presenter Eamonn Holmes: “The papacy is a completely different thing to an Archbishop of Canterbury.

“I am one of almost 100 English bishops with a particular role, whereas he is the head of the Roman Catholic Church globally.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Enthronement
The ceremony got underway on Thursday afternoon

“I am greatly looking forward to meeting him. His story – his life story – is extraordinary. He is a great intellectual, but also an incredibly pastoral and simple, down-to-earth character.

“I am absolutely sure that we will be able to work together on a vast number of issues.”

The Archbishop chose to visit West Sussex last Tuesday as part of a pilgrimage of his own around five English cities this month, instead of the Vatican for Pope Francis’ inauguration.

Most Rev Justin Welby with his wife Caroline.
The Most Rev Justin Welby with his wife Caroline

He now leads 80 million Christians – in comparison to the Pope, who is leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

However, they do have one thing in common. Like the newly-installed Pope, the Archbishop also likes to travel on the bus.

“I don’t know what he will do, but I find it the easiest way of getting around,” he said.

In the process of moving into Lambeth Palace, he conceded: “It is a very different life, it’ll take a while to settle. We have a very close family. They tease relentlessly and keep my feet very firmly on the ground.”

He faces many divisive issues within the church, including women bishops, gay clergy and relations with the Catholic Church.

Scenes from inside Canterbury Cathedral
The solemn service was held at the historic Canterbury Cathedral

“I think reconciliation is about learning to be very different … and continue to love and care for each other as we should within the church, and within society to be able to hold very different views without being destructive,” he said.

“One of the greatest challenges of my job is following Rowan Williams because he was such an extraordinary, exceptional, wonderful man, and such a wonderful archbishop.”

When he is not working, he likes to spend time with his family, reading and running. Asked what he likes to watch on TV, he confessed he has not owned one for the last two years.

Archbishop Rowan Williams
Dr Rowan Williams is the outgoing archbishop

“I love The West Wing. If I want to kick back I watch something like The West Wing – and I must start watching the new series of The Newsroom.

“We do now have a TV and I do watch a bit. The great thing I love about the telly is I like happy endings, simple stories and things that don’t make me think too much. Though I do watch some more serious stuff, but not too much, because life is pretty serious on the whole and telly is great entertainment.”

The Most Rev Welby was named as Dr Rowan Williams’ successor in November. The father-of-five resigned as an oil executive in 1987 after 11 years in the industry to train for the Anglican priesthood.

Archbishop Of Canterbury Enthroned At Cathedral – Sky News
Top Stories – Google News
Google News