([London] Sunday Times) Bootlegger’s son tipped to be next Archbishop of Canterbury

An Eton-educated former oil executive has emerged as the unlikely frontrunner to succeed Rowan Williams as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Justin Welby has been a bishop for less than a year, but senior Anglican sources claim the committee responsible for making the appointment is preparing to overlook his inexperience to recommend him for the Church of England’s top job .

It would mark a meteoric rise and defy the odds that have placed John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, as the favourite among the public and bookmakers.

While the crown nominations committee will not make a final decision until it meets in secret later this month, sources say senior figures on the panel view the Bishop of Durham as the outstanding candidate….

Read it all (requires subscription) and you can read some basic information about Bishop Justin Welby there.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Religion & Culture

23 comments on “([London] Sunday Times) Bootlegger’s son tipped to be next Archbishop of Canterbury

  1. APB says:

    At least he is not an academic!
    Following the links to his sermons and letters, the first few I read come across as those of a compassionate, able manager. Not much on his core beliefs, yet.

  2. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Experentia docet. A lesson apparently not learned … or perhaps, cynically, one learned quite well by secular agendists. Kyrie eleison.

  3. A Senior Priest says:

    The English prefer a proper toff to be their parson, and he fits the bill. It’s a cute trick for him to emphasize his father’s supposedly chequered past when in fact the Lord Bishop of Durham is an old Etonian, Cambridge grad, whose stepfather is a peer, and who has all sorts of relations in the British upper classes. Just check http://thepeerage.com

  4. Katherine says:

    I have no objections to his being “a proper toff” nor to his work for an oil company. But what about the state of his faith?

  5. Ian+ says:

    Yeah, #4. Can he talk about Jesus being risen from the dead without fudging the language or blushing? As Pope Benedict XVI articulated somewhere, what the Church needs in its clergy are (in my paraphrase, but clearly his gist) godly, manly men with guts.

  6. Ralinda says:

    Justin Welby helped facilitate the Dublin Primates meeting and he was one of the Pastoral Visitors appointed to resolve disputes in the Communion. We all know how well that worked.
    “Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss … We won’t get fooled again!”

  7. Teatime2 says:

    Why the enthusiasm and clamor for a newby and relatively unknown bishop? Nothing against this chap but, after the last disaster, wouldn’t it made more sense to choose someone solid and experienced such as +Chartres or +Sentamu? I think +Sentamu could heal divisions; +Chartres would be a good teacher and leader, reinvigorating the knowledge and practice of the faith. I just don’t understand the Welby nomination.

    I can’t remember — did +++Rowan’s name leak as the favorite at this stage of the game or was he something of a surprise?

  8. montanan says:

    Poor job learning lessons: ++Schori spent had little parish experience and had not been in a bishop’s chair for long, either. Whatever one thinks of her theology (and I think little of it), I think most would agree her lack of experience has been a source of some trouble.

  9. Teatime2 says:

    #8 Montanan, That’s what I was thinking, about how ++Schori was elected after just 5 years as a bishop. I honestly don’t think that she’d ever be PB material because she is so light in the theological loafers but selecting her with such little experience was foolish.

    I went and read some of +Welby’s sermons. His themes seem to be centered on personal transformation through the Holy Spirit and then transforming the world with the Good News of Jesus. Nothing wrong with that at all. But he really does seem so green. In one of his sermons, he even says he still feels like it was all a dream and a real Bishop of Durham will tap him on the shoulder and tell him he can go now, hahahaha. He seems like a good chap but just not ready to be the ABC. Goodness, the one-year anniversary of his consecration is in November!

  10. Cennydd13 says:

    +Chartres would be my choice, but if +Welby should happen to get the nod, then I would wish him well.

  11. Ad Orientem says:

    This makes me nervous. Electing untested men to important positions is a high risk move, especially for a church and communion that is under enormous strain. In addition to Schori I would also add the unfortunate recent experience in my own church when we elected Jonah Paffhausen as the Metropolitan Primate of the OCA after only eleven days as a bishop.

    H.B. was (and is) extremely charismatic and a big favorite with social conservatives within the Orthodox Church. But he proved to be a disaster as an administrator, alienating the entire Holy Synod, the Metropolitan Council and most of the staff. He made egregious errors which put the OCA in a bad spot legally and repeatedly violated OCA rules regarding the handling of complaints of sexual misconduct by clergy (no allegations against him were ever made).

    It finally reached a point in July where the Holy Synod was forced to demand his resignation.

  12. Jim the Puritan says:

    “preparing to overlook his inexperience” — I can think of a couple of other important executive positions where that has turned out to be a disaster.

  13. Sarah says:

    RE: “Why the enthusiasm and clamor for a newby and relatively unknown bishop?”

    I would guess because the libs who predominate on the committee actually *do* know Welby’s theology and stances, and are depending on everybody else *not* to know. So from their perspective being new and relatively unknown would be a feature, not a bug.

    RE: ” . . . wouldn’t it made more sense to choose someone solid and experienced such as +Chartres or +Sentamu?”

    But most likely neither would take the Communion in the direction that the majority of the committee would wish.

  14. driver8 says:

    He seems to be a moderate evangelical. The Archbishopric has “rotated” between “Catholics” and “Evangelicals” since the 70s, so one might expect a gently evangelical candidate to figure on the short list.

    Here’s an illuminating interview http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/21/bishop-durham-justin-welby-interview

  15. old grumpy says:

    All the foregoing notwithstanding, should we now be re-evaluating our views, in the light of the recent thoughts on backing-up the selection of a new ABC, with finding someone to stand as ‘president’ of the Communion. Thus leaving the Archbishop to concentrate on the Church of England, whilst the intensely political and antagonistic affairs of the A.C. are tackled by another.
    Ironically, +Justin would probably be a glove-fit for this latter role ?

    Chris Baker – Durham UK

  16. Tory+ says:

    If +Chartres was overlooked, +Welby was my second choice. He is orthodox, humble and strong. He will need lots of help repairing the communion, but I believe he would be a faithful and effective leader.

    Some important facts not mentioned: he did reconciliation work in Nigeria (and elsewhere) when he was attached to Coventry Cathedral, was raised up and nurtured by the extraordinary leadership of HTB and went to seminary from there, and has been personally helpful to me this spring, during our settlement and during my wife’s illness.

    If confirmed I will be writing a follow-up story on Truro’s blog….


  17. Matt Kennedy says:

    There’s only one way for any ABC to “repair the communion”. Give heretic provinces 2 choices:

    1. repent and recant or
    2. be excluded from all the councils of Communion

    Short of that any new ABC will fail.

  18. Cennydd13 says:

    We clearly need an Archbishop of Canterbury who will be firm, and who will in no way tolerate any deviation from the Faith as Anglicans have historically received it. That means that he must not be afraid to tell those who have done great harm to the Communion “where to get off,” and to tell them that they are no longer in communion with him. I need not name them; we know who they are.

  19. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I think we need to know a little bit more about the former treasurer of Enterprise Oil and Dean of Liverpool under James Jones. What matters is not personality but performance and policies. Questions on these points need to be asked and written assurances given. This should be our approach to all the candidates. Nothing but a faithful and able new ABC will be able to rescue that office from the wretched doghouse to which the current incumbent has consigned it.

  20. MichaelA says:

    I have doubts about +Welby. He seems to have avoided ever making a strong statement in favour of orthodoxy, and without that, what reason is there for the orthodox to trust him?

    Sarah’s point at #13 is a good one – the very fact that the CNC would approve him, given its composition, is a black mark against him.

  21. MichaelA says:

    Also: any selection by a CNC which has chosen ++Morgan of Wales to be its Primates’ representative verges on the ludicrous.

    Few bishops in the world could be more opposed in terms of his religious views to the majority of his fellow-Primates, than Morgan. The fact that the CNC chose him indicates that they will not choose a candidate for ABC who is capable of healing the rifts in the Anglican Communion.

  22. Cennydd13 says:

    Then, MichaelA, it plays right into the hands of Schori and Friends, doesn’t it?

  23. MichaelA says:

    Quite possibly. But the CofE has plenty of problems of its own – essentially it is caught between:

    (a) the frying pan – an entrenched and very vocal liberal minority that is unwilling to give any ground, that holds many key positions in the hierarchy of CofE, and that apparently has the goal of an entire and absolute take-over of CofE, regardless of the cost to that institution in terms of membership and income; and

    (b) the fire – a combination of (i) foreign primates who wield political influence in the Commonwealth as well as ecclesiastical influence in the Anglican Communion; and (ii) its own orthodox evangelicals and anglo-catholics, who hold the key to growth in a CofE that is steadily losing adherents and income.

    Their choice of ABC is a microcosm of this issue – I entirely agree with you that Richard Chartres would be their best choice for ABC (and probably John Sentamu second best) IF they want to conciliate the Global South and their own orthodox constituency – both Chartres and Sentamu have a proven track record. But such a choice will scandalize the liberals, not least because they do not WANT to conciliate those groups in any sense.

    And ironically, they are probably better off leaving Chartres where he is anyway – his diocese is the ONLY diocese in the whole of CofE that has consistently grown over the last 17 years in which he has been in charge of it. Its the one bright spot in CofE stats. So perhaps they should at least keep that intact while the rest of CofE stagnates!