Justin Welby Set To Become New Archbishop of Canterbury

Bishop of Durham Justin Welby, a former oil industry worker, is set to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

It is thought the 56-year-old will be named on Friday as the replacement for Rowan Williams, who steps down in December after 10 years in the post.

Bishop Welby became a bishop only a year ago when he took up the Church of England's fourth most senior post.

An old Etonian, he has significant experience in the oil industry and in managing complex processes and organisations.


He said he was called to become a priest following the death of his young daughter in a car crash.
Critics have said that the fact he's only been a bishop for a year may leave him vulnerable when dealing with the Church's various factions.
But he is skilled at conflict resolution, even at one point risking his own life when dealing with warring factions in Nigeria. 

Ruth Gledhill, religious affairs correspondent at the Times, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Bishop Welby's strong financial background and business sense was likely to have been viewed as valuable experience. 

She said he had worked as the Archbishop of Canterbury's special envoy to Africa, attempting to build unity between Christian and Muslim communities in Nigeria.

The journalist said the bishop was thought to be "conservative on the issue of gay marriage" and was "absolutely in favour of women bishops, but strong on protecting the position of traditionalists in the Church".

He's particularly concerned about the plight of the poor and the moral obligations of the City - so the government can expect him to be just as outspoken as Rowan Williams.

Downing Street sources have confirmed the next Archbishop will be formally announced on Friday morning.

Main story from BBC here

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