The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will take a three-month sabbatical subsequent 12 months for “reflection, prayer, and non secular renewal”, Lambeth Palace has mentioned.

Throughout his absence subsequent summer season, Stephen Cottrell, the archbishop of York and at the moment quantity two within the Church of England hierarchy, will step as much as lead the church. Sarah Mullally, the bishop of London and the third most senior bishop, will help.

Lambeth Palace mentioned it was “regular apply” for archbishops to take time without work from their official duties. Welby’s predecessor, Rowan Williams, took a three-month sabbatical in 2007, by which he wrote a e-book. George Carey, Williams’s predecessor, took two months off in 1997.

Welby had been as a consequence of take sabbatical earlier this 12 months nevertheless it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lambeth Palace mentioned the archbishop can be learning the idea of reconciliation – one of many private priorities of his ministry – throughout his time away from his put up.

He’s anticipated to spend it in Cambridge or the US, though he might spend time in his home in northern France. He shall be in common contact together with his employees whereas away. He is because of resume his official duties in September 2021.

Welby confronted criticism earlier this 12 months over his response to the pandemic. Some clergy mentioned he had gone additional than was required by the federal government in banning clergymen from coming into their church buildings. Others mentioned he had failed to supply a powerful ethical voice for the nation in a time of utmost nervousness and uncertainty.

In the course of the newest lockdown in England, there was a notable change of tone. Welby and different senior religion leaders have challenged the scientific foundation on which the federal government closed locations of worship for communal providers and prayer and have demanded a rethink.

All members of the clergy are permitted to use to take a sabbatical interval each seven to 10 years, and Welby – who has been archbishop since 2013 – final took a interval of depart in 2005.