WATCH is delighted to hear that Bishop Justin Welby has been appointed as the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Bishop Justin is a supporter of women in ordained ministry and is fully supportive of the consecration of women as bishops. He was ordained in 1992, the year that General Synod voted to open the priesthood to women so his entire priestly ministry has been in the context of a Church that ordains both men and women as priests.  His previous work outside the Church brings valuable experience of working alongside women as equals in positions of leadership.

If General Synod votes for female bishops on the 20th of this month, Bishop Justin will have the privilege of serving at a time when the first women become bishops in the Church of England. It will be a time of enormous opportunity for transformation, growth and renewal.  We have every confidence that Bishop Justin will be the person to make the most of these opportunities.

The role of Archbishop of Canterbury is a great challenge for anyone, but Bishop Justin’s reputation as a strong and decisive leader and his extensive experience in working for reconciliation makes him very well placed to take the Church of England forward in exciting new directions.

The Reverend Rachel Weir Chair of WATCH said

“We are delighted to hear that Bishop Justin has been appointed to Canterbury. He is a strong supporter of women’s ministry and has all the skills and experience the Church could hope for in a new Archbishop.  We look forward to working with him in future years”