The new Archbishop of Canterbury’s going to be formally announced and it’s being widely reported that a shining star in the Church of England, Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham has accepted the position. According to the BBC he’s a traditionalist, who’s in favour of women bishops but conservative on gay marriage.
Bishop Welby took the post of Bishop of Durham in July 2011 and he gave this insight into his feelings about being back in the city, where he studied theology
Interviewer from July 2011 asks: ‘What are you beginning to looking forward to most with this role?’ Bishop of Durham Justin Welby replies: ‘That’s very simple, I’m looking fed to being around, just being with people in the Diocese, What’s fun is hanging out with people, listening, participating and being part of the life of a community. And I think one of the great thigns about this job is to be able to hang out with people whether it’s in a cold church hall with half a dozen people or in a large gathering or best of all in a pub somewhere, it’s great to just have an opportunity to be around, hear what people think and engage what people are saying.’
Bishop Welby used to be an executive in the oil industry but his faith was strengthened after the death of his 7-month-old daughter in a car crash. He retrained as an Anglican priest and was ordained in his 30s.
So just like his brave abseiling exploits for charity, he’ll be making a huge leap into the shoes of his friend, Rowan Williams (he was William’s special envoy to Africa). Bishop Welby will be become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, and the nominal leader of some 77 million Anglicans worldwide.