The Rt Rev Justin Welby was working as an oil executive when he became "unable to get away from a sense of God calling".
Twenty-five years later, in 2012, he is to be named the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.
He was made a deacon in 1992 after training for ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall in Durham where he took a degree in theology, serving later as a curate in Nuneaton.
He rose through the church ranks to become the Dean of Liverpool before he was named as the Bishop of Durham, a role he held for less than a year before being named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Rt Rev Welby and his wife Caroline have had six children, one of whom - their seven-month-old daughter and first-born, Johanna - died in a car crash in France in 1983.
More top news
PM used a speech in Hamburg to say that the UK will not 'pull up the drawbridge and retreat from the world' but Europe must change.
It is set to remain unsettled into Saturday, becoming drier on Sunday.
The Independent has announced it is to cease publication and go online only from the end of March.