Stigand was close the Godwin family sharing their dislike of the Normans that had great influence over King Edward, and amongst those who had greatest influence was Robert Champart, the bishop of London. When, in 1047, Stigand was promoted to the bishop of Winchester, Robert did not block the appointment as it removed the bishop from the court. But the tables were turned in 1052, when the Godwin family returned to England after being expelled by the King. On their return, Robert Champart was forced to flee Canterbury and Stigand was given its Archbishopric.
At the death of Edward the Confessor in 1066 Stigand was a member of the Witan that chose Harold as the new King of England. Edgar the Atheling, the true heir to the throne being too young to rule. But by the end of year William the Conqueror had invaded England and Stigand along with the other religious leaders left London to meet and accept their new King.