fter the appointment was confirmed by Downing Street this morning he said:
The announcement that Justin Welby is to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury is very good news for the Church and for the Nation, for the Commonwealth and the world-wide Anglican Communion. Rowan Williams is a very hard act to follow but Justin has many gifts too and this daring and imaginative appointment will be widely welcomed. We thank God for the good news and pray for him and his wife and family as they make the complicated and daunting move from Durham to London. May God richly bless them.
Aged 56-year, Justin Welby will take on the post senior posting in the Church of England when the current Archbishop, Rowan Williams steps down in December after 10 years in the position. He only became a bishop a year ago when he took up the fourth most senior post in the Church of England.
Educated at Eton and Cambridge University, Bishop Welby spent 11 years in the oil industry before studying theology at Durham. It was in 1992 that he was ordained and he became Bishop of Durham in November 2011, having serving as Dean of Liverpool since 2007. He had worked as the Archbishop of Canterbury's special envoy to Africa, attempting to build unity between Christian and Muslim communities in Nigeria.
The Revd Mark Ireland, Vicar of All Saints Wellington (Telford) in the diocese of Lichfield has particular reason to appreciate the enormity of the position. He says:
"I am delighted to welcome the appointment of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury. As a member of Archbishops Council I have glimpsed something of the pressures of the role, and have been hugely impressed by the prayerful and steady leadership Rowan Williams has shown through turbulent times. Justin Welby will bring fresh energy, a deep faith and a heart for mission to this role. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family today as he takes on this daunting post and learns to live in the media spotlight.
"His appointment comes at an exciting time for the Church of England. Rowan Williams has done a lot of the groundwork to focus attention and resources on the primary task of taking forward the spiritual and numerical growth of the Church of England, reshaping its ministry to ensure that there is a growing and sustainable witness in every local community. I am currently serving, with Bishop Alan Smith, on a task group appointed by the archbishops to develop a national strategy to grow the Church through making new disciples for Jesus Christ. The promotion of fresh expressions of church in every diocese is also part of Rowans legacy.
"With the support of Archbishop Sentamu, Justin Welby will also be leading a worldwide Anglican Communion which, although a source of stress is also a source of real strength. The Anglican Church is actually seeing significant growth, especially in Africa, south-east Asia and South America. Our vibrant sister churches in the majority world, with few material resources and often in hostile settings, have much from which we can learn in the missionary task we face here in England over the years ahead."
Bishop Welby becomes the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, and the nominal leader of 77 million Anglicans worldwide.