Justin Welby the Archbishop who officiated at the Queen’s funeral, his contribution to Kenyan politics

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

World leaders gathered at Westminster Abbey, London, to pay their last respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

Archbishop of Canterbury and world leader of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby, delivered the sermon at the state funeral of Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and one of the principal leaders of the Church of Englandthe chief of ceremony of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury.

The service at Westminster Abbey was attended by nearly 200 invited heads of state, including US President Joe Biden and Kenyan William Ruto.

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

Before burying him, the family will hold a private and final service at St. George’s Chapel from 7:30 p.m. [around 9:30pm EAT].

While officiating the funeral service, the 66-year-old opened the sermon by urging leaders to emulate the leadership skills of the deceased. He added that her reign was not defined by position or ambition, but by who 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 doorway to glory,” a- he declared.

Archbishop Justin Welbey has a special relationship with Kenya where in 1974 the Anglican missionary from the UK sent him as a volunteer teacher.

He would teach mathematics at Kirinyanga for only eight months.

In October 2013, Welbey returned to Kenya and preached at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi.

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

He would later return to the country in 2017 to preach reconciliation among politicians after the disputed 2017 general election.

In 2019, together with Bishop Jackson Ole Sapit, Bishop 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 the word of God.

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

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

Archbishop Welby was educated at Cambridge University where he studied history and law.

Later in life he studied for ordination at St John’s College, Durham. After several parish 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 Archbishop at Canterbury Cathedral on March 21, 2013. Archbishop Welby is the 105e Archbishop of Canterbury since 2013.

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