CANTERBURY : An Enthronement

Dr. George Carey, 55, a former high school dropout who is fiercely proud of his working-class roots, launches what promises to be a controversial reign as head of the Church of England on Friday, when he is enthroned as the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury.

Carey--who condemns much Anglican worship as "boring, tedious, long and mind-numbing," who favors the ordination of women and who is enthusiastic about his church's growing evangelical wing with its charismatic-style services--was a surprise choice to succeed the diplomatic Dr. Robert Runcie.

Church conservatives will no doubt be uncomfortable with some of his views, but if he can stop a slide in church membership that has seen active participation fall by 30% in a generation, they may soften their criticism.

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