THE Bishop of Durham has moved one step closer to becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.

Senior clergy and lay people from the Diocese of Canterbury took part in a medieval tradition to confirm the Right Reverend Justin Welby as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury-elect today (Thursday, January 10).

The 35-strong College of Canons met at Canterbury Cathedral’s 14th century Chapter House to take part in the formality which dates back more than 1,000 years.

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Only one name featured on the ballot sheet for the College to select.

As is traditional, Bishop Welby was not invited to attend the meeting, which was chaired by the Dean of Canterbury, the Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis.

The 56-year-old former oil executive will be confirmed as the head of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Church at St Paul’s Cathedral, in London, on February 4, and enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on March 21.

Bishop Welby is guest editing The Northern Echo tomorrow (Friday, January 11).