The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will take a three-month sabbatical next year for “reflection, prayer, and spiritual renewal”, Lambeth Palace has said.
During his absence next summer, Stephen Cottrell, the archbishop of York and currently number two in the Church of England hierarchy, will step up to lead the church. Sarah Mullally, the bishop of London and the third most senior bishop, will assist.
Lambeth Palace said it was “normal practice” for archbishops to take time off from their official duties. Welby’s predecessor, Rowan Williams, took a three-month sabbatical in 2007, in which he wrote a book. George Carey, Williams’s predecessor, took two months off in 1997.
Welby had been due to take sabbatical earlier this year but it was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lambeth Palace said the archbishop would be studying the concept of reconciliation – one of the personal priorities of his ministry…