Bishop Justin Welby named as next Archbishop of Canterbury

Key points

  • Bishop of Durham Justin Welby says it was "astonishing and exciting" to be named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury
  • The 56-year-old former oil executive will replace Dr Rowan Williams, who steps down next month after 10 years in the post
  • Prime Minister David Cameron congratulates and welcomes Bishop Welby, wishing him "success in his new role"

Live text


  • Holly Wallis 
  • Alexis Akwagyiram 

Last updated 9 November 2012


The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, is shortly expected to be unveiled as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.


His appointment has been widely anticipated by the media, but an official announcement naming the next Archbishop of Canterbury is set to come from Downing Street.


The 56-year-old - who is a former oil industry executive - has only been a bishop for a year, but emerged as the leading contender to take over from the incumbent, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams.

BREAKING 1054 Breaking News

Downing Street has confirmed on Twitter that the Rt Rev Justin Welby will be the next Archbishop of Canterbury.


lambeth palace

We expect to hear from the next archbishop soon at a Lambeth Palace press conference.


The nomination has been approved by the Queen, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Lambeth Palace confirms.


Rowan Williams

The decision comes months after a committee met in secret to negotiate who should replace Dr Williams, who is standing down as Archbishop of Canterbury in December.


Dr Rowan Williams says he is "delighted at the appointment" of Bishop Welby, adding: "I have had the privilege of working closely with him on various occasions and have always been enriched and encouraged by the experience."


Dr Williams continues: "He has an extraordinary range of skills and is a person of grace, patience, wisdom and humour. He will bring to this office both a rich pastoral experience and a keen sense of international priorities, for church and world. I wish him - with Caroline and the family - every blessing, and hope that the Church of England and the Anglican Communion will share my pleasure at this appointment and support him with prayer and love."


Speaking at a Lambeth Palace press conference, Bishop Welby says his appointment is both "astonishing and exciting" and something he never expected.