Durham homecoming for Archbishop Justin to receive his honorary degree

Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury

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Durham homecoming for Archbishop Justin to receive his honorary degree

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who studied at Durham University and was formerly Bishop of Durham, received an honorary degree this week in recognition of his ministerial achievements and devotion to his parish communities.

Acting Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, Professor Ray Hudson, presented the Archbishop with an honorary Doctor of Divinity at a ceremony in Durham Cathedral, just metres from where he completed his vocational training at Cranmer Hall.

The previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, also holds an honorary degree from Durham University.

Durham is the Church of England’s single validation partner for the ordination training of its ministers across England. The University is one of the few places in the world where vocational training is offered at an internationally respected level in Theology and Ministry from Certificate to Doctoral level.

Archbishop Justin said: "To receive this unmerited honour is yet another gift from one of the Church of England’s main partners and greatest supports in theological education, I am hugely grateful.

"Durham is one of the greatest centres of Christianity, and I have received its riches again and again.

"From the wonderful teaching and training of my time at Cranmer Hall, through to the extraordinary privilege of being its Bishop, the home of St Cuthbert has been a blessing to me as to so many."

Archbishop Justin was nominated by Professor Alec Ryrie, head of the University’s Department of Theology and Religion , and Reverend Professor Mark McIntosh, former Van Mildert Professor of Divinity at Durham University.

Professor Ryrie said: "Archbishop Justin has had an immensely varied career, and brings a unique mix of skills and experiences to his current role as the Archbishop of Canterbury. But the constant theme of his ministry to date is his commitment both to sharing the Christian message in fresh and imaginative ways, and also to supporting the vulnerable and weak in our society.

"His work in the local community during his all-too-short time as Bishop of Durham deserves recognition, and his passion for the North East is evident in his vision for the region."

Professor Ray Hudson, Acting Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, said: "Justin Welby is remembered as a student with a deep faith, personal warmth, and as a hard-working, but humble person of great ability. He is a real inspiration to all our students graduating this week."

Archbishop Justin received his honorary degree in front of hundreds of students and their families who attended the University’s Winter Congregation Ceremony at Durham Cathedral