Archbishops of Canterbury and York

They are Privy Counsellors and are addressed The Most Rev and Rt Hon the Archbishop of Canterbury/York.

The Archbishop of Canterbury ranks next in precedence to the Royal Family and above the Lord Chancellor. The Archbishop of York ranks next to the Lord Chancellor and above Dukes.

How to Address the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

The recommended (social) style of address is as follows:

Beginning of letter Dear Archbishop/Dear Lord Archbishop (if preferred)
End of letter Yours sincerely
Envelope The Most Rev and Rt Hon the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (or York)
Verbal address Archbishop
Invitation The Archbishop of Canterbury
Joint invitation* The Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs Justin Welby
Description in conversation The Archbishop of Canterbury
List of Directors or Patrons The Archbishop of Canterbury
Place card The Archbishop of Canterbury
Signature The reigning Archbishop of Canterbury uses his Christian name in English or Latin (or his initials) coupled with the abbreviated Latin name of his see. (When the abbreviated Latin name of the see is used it is usual to put a colon instead of a full stop.) The Archbishop of Canterbury signs himself Rowan Cantuar: and the Archbishop of York signs himself Sentamu Ebor.

*Note: Traditionally, invitations to a married couple, when sent to their home address, are addressed to the wife alone, with both names being inscribed on the invitation card. It has become increasingly acceptable, however, to address the envelope with both names.

How to Address Retired Archbishops of Canterbury and York

In recent years it has been the custom to bestow a temporal peerage upon a retiring Archbishop of Canterbury, and upon a retiring Archbishop of York who does not become Archbishop of Canterbury (e.g. Archbishop Lord Carey of Clifton, and Archbishop Lord Hope of Thornes). They would otherwise renounce their seats in the House of Lords.

The recommended (social) style of address is as follows

Beginning of letter Dear Lord Williams/Dear Archbishop
End of letter Yours sincerely
Envelope The Rt Rev and Rt Hon the Lord Williams of Oystermouth, PC
Verbal address Lord Williams (or Archbishop)
Invitation The Lord Williams of Oystermouth
Joint invitation* The Lord and Lady Williams of Oystermouth
Description in conversation Lord Williams/Archbishop Williams
List of Directors or Patrons The Rt Hon the Lord Williams of Oystermouth
Place card The Lord Williams of Oystermouth

*Note: Traditionally, invitations to a married couple, when sent to their home address, are addressed to the wife alone, with both names being inscribed on the invitation card. It has become increasingly acceptable, however, to address the envelope with both names. 

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