Ex-oil executive Welby named as new Archbishop of Canterbury

Now Reading:

Ex-oil executive Welby named as new Archbishop of Canterbury

Text size Aa Aa

Bishop of Durham Justin Welby will be the new Archbishop of Canterbury, heading up the Church of England.

He will try to unite a Church divided, as liberals and traditionalists argue over issues like women bishops, which Welby supports, and gay marriage, which he is against.

Welby was only a bishop for one year before taking the top Anglican post, and has an unusual background. Like British Prime Minister David Cameron, Welby attended the private school Eton. Welby is a former executive at an oil company. He was first ordained in 1992.

Former cannon chancellor of St Paul’s Reverend Dr Giles Fraser thinks Welby’s experience in the corporate world will be beneficial.

“It’s a good thing. He’s not afraid of money, he’s not afraid of how organisations work. He’s seen it (how organisations work) from the inside. He will speak the language of a lot of people,” said Fraser.

Welby will begin in the top position on March 21, 2013.

He will take over from current Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, who is leaving the post to become Master at Cambridge University’s Magdalene College. Williams spent a nearly a decade leading the world’s 80 million Anglicans.