The Bishop of Durham is due to be named as the new Archbishop of Canterbury, according to reports made in the national press.
It follows growing speculation that the Rt Rev Justin Welby could be Rowan Williams' successor, fuelled by the suspension of bets by bookmakers Ladbrokes on Tuesday.
The 56-year-old became Bishop of Durham in November 2011, taking up the fourth most senior position in the Church of England.
Sources have confirmed that the Rt Rev Justin Welby will be announced as the successor to Dr Rowan Williams as early as Friday, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Both a spokesman from Lambeth Palace and Downing Street declined to comment and refused to confirm or deny the appointment.
More top news
Friends of much-loved TV presenter Mike Neville paid further tributes after his fuenral in Gateshead this afternoon.
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
A Sunderland MP is calling for a revamp of 'tired looking' Sunderland Railway Station, which offers a 'poor welcome' to visitors.