New Archbishop's gambling plea

The Bishop of Durham, Rt Rev Justin Welby, has said anyone who made money by betting on his appointment as the next Archbishop of Canterbury should make a donation to the church.

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Rt Rev Justin Welby to be unveiled as 105th Archbishop

The Bishop of Durham will be officially unveiled as the new Archbishop of Canterbury today.

The Rt Rev Justin Welby, an Eton-educated former oil industry executive, will become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the 77 million strong Anglican Communion.

The Right Reverend Justin Welby is to become the new Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Right Reverend Justin Welby is to become the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive/Press Association Images

He has not yet been officially named but after months of speculation, he has become the overwhelming front runner.

It is understood that Bishop Welby, the fourth most senior cleric in the Church of England, will be announced as the successor to Rowan Williams at Lambeth Palace this morning.

Bishop 'not able to comment on Archbishop appointment'

Bishop Welby has said that he is unable to comment on speculation about his appointment as the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

Speaking during a break in the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards inquiry, of which he is a committee member, he said:

I am not able to comment, only Lambeth Palace can.

A police officer at Portcullis House in Westminster, where the inquiry is being heard, congratulated the Bishop on his new post to which he laughed and raised his hands in defence.

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Bootleggers and Churchill: Rt Rev Welby's family history

  • Rt Rev Welby's father was a businessman who traded in whisky during the prohibition years in America and then became an executive for a company that survived the alcohol ban by selling communion wine. He also knew the Kennedy family.
  • His mother was Winston Churchill's private secretary. Rt Rev Welby is also related to Rab Butler, the former Conservative deputy prime minister.
  • The 56-year-old and his wife Caroline have had six children. Their first born, seven-month-old Johanna, died in a car crash in France in 1983.
  • He read law and history at Trinity College, Cambridge, before joining the oil industry. He was based in Paris and London, working on West African and North Sea projects.
  • He became a group treasurer in a company called Enterprise Oil, before resigning in 1987 to train for the Anglican priesthood.

Other contenders for Archbishop of Canterbury vacancy

Rt Rev Welby's reported appointment as the next Archbishop of Canterbury sees him emerge beyond the early favourites for the post. The other leading contenders for the vacancy were:

  • Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
  • Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James.
  • Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres.

Dr Rowan Williams, who announced his exit in March after a decade in the post, will leave at the end of this year to become Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Welby emerges as surprise choice for next Archbishop

The Right Reverend Justin Welby
Rt Rev Welby (left) once told a reporter he was "unable to get away from a sense of God calling." Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The appointment of Rt Rev Welby as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the 77 million strong Anglican Communion will be seen as a meteoric rise in the career of the clergyman.

The Eton-educated bishop worked in the oil industry for 11 years before leaving to train for the Anglican priesthood. He was first ordained as a deacon in 1992.

He marks the first anniversary of his enthronement as Bishop of Durham later this month.

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