The Most Rev Justin Welby has been enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury.
The 57-year-old has been formally sworn in as head of the Church of England and spiritual leader of the 77 million-strong Anglican global communion.
The Prince of Wales and Prime Minister David Cameron are among the 2,000 guests at Canterbury Cathedral.
For the first time in history, a woman – the Venerable Sheila Watson, Archdeacon of Canterbury – carried out one of the two enthronements.
She firstly installed the archbishop on the diocesan throne in the cathedral, before he was then sworn in as the Archbishop of Canterbury by the Dean of Canterbury, the Very Rev Robert Willis, on the marble chair of St Augustine.
Tradition dictates that the archbishop had to knock three times before entering the cathedral
It is the last stage in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s appointment following the confirmation of his election in February.
‘Sent to serve you’
At the start of the service, Archbishop Welby struck the West Door of the cathedral three times with his staff before it was opened to allow his entry.
A young member of the Anglican communion, Evangeline Kanagasooriam, then asked the archbishop, “Who are you and why do you request entry?” and “Why have you been sent to us?”
He replied: “I am sent as archbishop to serve you, to proclaim the love of Christ and with you to worship and love him with heart and soul, mind and strength.”
Representatives of the world’s major religions are among the congregation and the service is a blend of the traditional and modern. There are hymns, African dancers, Punjabi music and improvised organ music.
There is a strong African element to the service, reflecting the archbishop’s ties with the continent through his former job as an oil executive and most recently in peace and reconciliation work.
Other personal touches include the choice of the archbishop’s robes for the service. He is wearing colourful vestments originally designed and made for the late Bishop of Peterborough, the Most Rev Ian Cundy, who was his tutor at Cranmer Hall, Durham, where he trained in preparation for ordination.
Archbishop Welby, the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, is taking on several roles – diocesan bishop of Canterbury, head of the southern province of the Church of England, senior bishop of all England and spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican communion.
The archbishop was tweeting during the build-up to the service. He wrote: “Out early this morning, Canterbury is beautiful, human scale and history falling out of the walls everywhere. Grateful to be here.”
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Meanwhile, Pope Francis, whose inauguration Mass was on Tuesday, sent a goodwill message to Archbishop Welby.
“I look forward to meeting you in the near future, and to continuing the warm fraternal relations that our predecessors enjoyed,” he said.
Archbishop Welby, 57, is married with five children. He went to school at Eton, and later Cambridge University.
He rose to the top of the oil industry – ending up as treasurer of Enterprise Oil – and gave up a six-figure salary to train as a priest.
He was a vicar in Warwickshire, a canon of Coventry Cathedral, and the Dean of Liverpool, before being appointed as Bishop of Durham in November 2011