It is also possible that Bishop Welby’s age – he is 56 – worked in his favour. Early favourites, including the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, and the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, are in their early 60s, and thus would be close to retirement – or technically beyond it – by the time of the next Lambeth Conference, in 2018, which traditionally takes place at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bishop Welby, who worked in the financial branch of the oil industry for 11 years, until he sought ordination in 1988, was appointed to sit on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards in July, after the Libor rate-fixing scandal….
He has strong links with the Church in Nigeria, first in the oil industry, but latterly working in reconciliation. He estimates that he has visited the country about 60 times since 2002, work begun as a Canon of Coventry Cathedral.