Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, may become the next Archbishop of Canterbury

An article published today in The Telegraph, announces that Rev. Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, may be announced this week as the future Archbishop of Canterbury, and head of the Anglican Communion worldwide.

Here is what the British daily writes about it:

Sources have confirmed that the Eton-educated bishop will be announced as successor to Dr Rowan Williams as early as Friday, after the Crown Nominations Commission put his name forward to Downing Street.

It marks a meteoric rise for the former oil executive who has been a bishop for only a year, but insiders described Welby as “the outstanding candidate”.

Last night a spokesman refused to confirm his appointment. But it came a few hours after he pulled out at short notice from a planned appearance on the BBC Radio 4 discussion programme Any Questions due to take place in County Durham on Friday.

He also cut short a retreat with diocesan staff and returned to the capital where it is understood his wife is travelling down to join him tomorrow.

A former oil executive he gave up a highly paid career after feeling a “call” to the priesthood in the late 1980s.

“Something in me just said ‘this is what you should be doing’,” he recently explained.

He was able to draw on years of experience in oil exploration in troubled areas of west Africa, when his ministry led him to work in conflict resolution in the violent Niger Delta, where he narrowly avoided being shot dead.

At a time when the Church is grappling with the aftermath of the banking crisis, he combines – almost uniquely – an understanding of the working of the City with that of life in the inner city, gleaned as a parish priest and Dean of Liverpool.

He has used his seat in the Lords as a platform to challenge the “sins” of the multi-billion pound banks as much as the small-scale pay-day “loan sharks” he has seen at work on the North East – condemning the practice in the language of the Old Testament as “usury”.

Although Educated at Eton and Cambridge and even a member of a Pall Mall club, he is seen as far from an establishment figure.

Theologically, he is unashamedly part of the evangelical tradition, upholding a more traditional and conservative interpretation of the Bible than some in the Church of England.

But he is also a strong advocate of more modern styles of worship.

Read HERE the entire article.

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You may also read HERE a very interesting interview with Justin Welby in The Guardian, in July 2012.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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