Justin Welby the Archbishop who officiated at Queen's funeral, his input in Kenyan politics



File: The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (left) and Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) head Jackson Ole Sapit. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]

World leaders have converged in Westminster Abbey, London to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

Archbishop of Canterbury and the global head of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby, delivered the sermon at the State funeral of the longest-serving British monarch.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and a principal leader of the Church of England, the ceremonial head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury.

The service at Westminster Abbey was attended by close to 200 invited heads of state including US President Joe Biden and Kenya's William Ruto.

Queen Elizabeth II, 96, died on September 22 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She will be laid to rest at King George VI Memorial Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Before laying her to rest, the family will hold a private and final service at St George's Chapel from 7:30 pm [around 9:30pm EAT].

While officiating the funeral service, the 66-year-old opened the sermon by urging leaders to emulate the deceased's leadership skills. He added that her reign was not set through her position or ambition but through whom she followed.

"The pattern for many leaders is to be exalted in life and forgotten after death. The pattern for all who serve God famous or obscure, respected or ignored is that death is the door to glory," he said.

Archbishop Justin Welbey has a special relation with Kenya where, in 1974, the Anglican Missionary in the UK sent him as a volunteer teacher.

He would teach Mathematics in Kirinyanga for only eight months.

In October 2013, Welbey came back to Kenya and preached at All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi.

At the time, he took to the podium to offer condolences to victims of the Westgate Shopping Mall terror attack on 21 September 2013.

He would later return to the country in 2017 to preach reconciliation among politicians following the disputed 2017 General Election.

In 2019, in the company of Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit, Archbishop Welbey proclaimed that the Anglican Church was opposed to same-sex marriage.

However, he advised Christians in the modern world to respect each other's differences in order to preach God's word.

The following year, Welby was invited to Kenya by Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) head Jackson Ole Sapit.

This time, he sought an audience with Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga where he held talks on the proposed constitutional review dubbed Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

Archbishop Welby was educated at the University of Cambridge where he read History and Law.

Later in life, he studied for ordination at St John's College, Durham. After several parochial appointments, he became Dean of Liverpool in 2007 and Bishop of Durham in 2011.

Welby's theology is reported as representing the evangelical tradition within Anglicanism.

He was enthroned as archbishop at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013. Archbishop Welby is the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury since 2013.

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