Press release

See of Canterbury appointment

Rt Hon the Lord Luce to become Chairman of the Crown Nominations Commission for its selection of the next Archbishop of Canterbury to succeed the Most Reverend and Rt Hon Rowan Williams

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Prime Minister has appointed the Rt Hon the Lord Luce KG, GCVO to be Chairman of the Crown Nominations Commission for its selection of the next Archbishop of Canterbury to succeed the Most Reverend and Rt Hon Rowan Williams. Dr Williams has announced that he will stand down on 31 December 2012.

Commenting on his appointment, Lord Luce said:

It is a great privilege to have been invited by the Prime Minister to chair the Crown Nominations Commission for the selection of the next Archbishop of Canterbury. I approach the task with humility and a strong sense of the responsibility that I and my colleagues on the Commission share.

I am very conscious of the significance of the Archbishop’s role both nationally and across the world. It is, of course, of great importance both to the Church of England and to the wider community in our country, given the Church’s contribution to our society at all levels. The Archbishop is also the head of world-wide Anglican Communion. And the appointment of an Archbishop of Canterbury also means a great deal for other Christian denominations and for other faiths.

Archbishop Rowan has made an outstanding contribution in all of these spheres. Finding a worthy successor will not be an easy task for the Commission.

The responsibility of chairing the Commission is, of course, a heavy one. But I am fortified by the knowledge that I will be supported and advised by the other members of the Commission who have a wide range of talents and experience.

Notes for Editors

Richard Luce, age 75, has long experience in public affairs. In the House of Lords he sits on the Cross Benches as an independent Life Peer. He is currently High Steward of Westminster Abbey. His career spans the overseas civil service, business, Parliament (Conservative MP for 21 years), a Minister for 10 years (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Minister for the Arts and Minister for the Civil Service), Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham and Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Gibraltar.

He retired in 2006 having served six years as Lord Chamberlain to The Queen, the senior official in the Royal Household. He is serving, or has served, as President, Chairman or Trustee of a number of charitable bodies. In 2008 The Queen made him a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter.

Richard Luce is a lifelong Anglican. He and his wife, Rose, who is a lay minister in the Church of England, worship at a parish church near their home in West Sussex.

The appointment has been made by the Prime Minister after taking soundings of senior figures in the Church.

The Crown Nominations Commission will put its recommendation for the next Archbishop to the Prime Minister, who will seek the agreement of Her Majesty The Queen. It is expected that the name of the new Archbishop will be announced in the Autumn.

The Commission is a largely Church-elected body, including both clergy and lay members and representatives of the worldwide Anglican Communion. For the See of Canterbury the Prime Minister appoints its chair.

Published 26 April 2012