Justin Welby

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The Most Reverend and Right Honourable
Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury
Mobilising Faith Communities in Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict (15862086073).jpg
Welby, photographed in 2015
Church Church of England
Province Province of Canterbury
Diocese Diocese of Canterbury
(delegated to the Bishop of Dover)
Elected 4 February 2013
Installed 21 March 2013
Predecessor Rowan Williams
Orders
Ordination 1992 (deacon)
1993 (priest)
Consecration 28 October 2011
by John Sentamu
Personal details
Birth name Justin Portal Welby
Born (1956-01-06) 6 January 1956 (age 66)
London, England
Nationality British
Denomination Church of England
Residence Lambeth Palace, London
The Old Palace, Canterbury
Spouse Caroline (née Eaton)
Children 6 (one deceased[1])
Previous post Bishop of Durham (2011–2013)
Education St Peter's School, Seaford
Eton College
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
St John's College, Durham
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}

Justin Portal Welby PC (born 6 January 1956[2]) is the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and the most senior bishop in the Church of England. Welby was the vicar of Southam, Warwickshire,[3] and most recently was the Bishop of Durham, serving for just over a year.[4] As Archbishop of Canterbury he is the Primate of All England and the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Welby's early career was in the oil industry. In 1989, he studied for ordination at St John's College, Durham. After several parochial appointments he became the Dean of Liverpool in 2007 and the Bishop of Durham in 2011.

Welby's theology is reported as representing the evangelical tradition within Anglicanism.[5] Some of his publications explore the relationship between finance and religion and, as a member of the House of Lords, he sits on the panel of the 2012 Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.

Early life and education

Chapel of Eton College

Welby was born on 6 January 1956 in London, England.[2]

Welby's mother is Jane Gillian Portal (born 1929), who served as a personal secretary to Sir Winston Churchill from December 1949 until her marriage to Gavin Welby in April 1955. She once took a very young Welby to tea with the aged Churchill.[7][8] Paternity testing in 2016 showed that Welby's biological father was Sir Anthony Montague Browne (1923–2013), the private secretary to Churchill,[9] as a result of a short relationship with Jane Portal just before she married; Welby was born almost exactly nine months after the marriage.[10]

Welby and his mother believed until 2016 that his father was Gavin Bramhall James Welby (1910–1977), born Bernard Gavin Weiler in Ruislip, West London.[11][12][13] Gavin Welby's father, Bernard Weiler, was a German-Jewish immigrant and an importer of luxury items; shortly after the First World War broke out, he changed the family name to Welby.[12][7][14][15]

Welby describes his early childhood as "messy": Gavin and Jane Welby were both alcoholics. They divorced in 1959, when he was three years old.[16] He was placed in Gavin Welby's custody. In 1960 Gavin Welby was engaged to the actress Vanessa Redgrave; Redgrave's mother, Lady Redgrave, wrote to her father, Sir Michael Redgrave, that Gavin Welby was "a real horror ... a pretty rotten piece of work".[17] Vanessa Redgrave called the engagement off. Gavin Welby died in 1977 of alcohol-related causes.[18]

Welby's mother stopped drinking in 1968, and in 1975 married Charles Williams, a business executive and first-class cricketer who was made a life peer in 1985. Williams was the nephew of Elizabeth Laura Gurney, a member of the Gurney family of Norwich who were prominent Quakers and social reformers. Welby describes his stepfather as being supportive of him.

Education

Welby was educated at St Peter's School, Seaford; Eton College; and Trinity College, Cambridge, where his great-uncle, Lord Butler of Saffron Walden, was then master. He graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and law; as per tradition he was later promoted to a Master of Arts by seniority.[19]

Welby's maternal family

Welby's mother Jane Portal was the daughter of Iris Butler (1905–2002), a journalist and historian, whose brother R. A. "Rab" Butler, Lord Butler of Saffron Walden, was a Conservative politician, serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary. Their father was Sir Montagu Butler, Governor of the Central Provinces of British India and Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Sir Montagu Butler was the grandson of George Butler, Headmaster of Harrow School and Dean of Peterborough; the nephew of educator George Butler (husband of social reformer Josephine Butler) and Henry Montagu Butler, Headmaster of Harrow School, Dean of Gloucester and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge; and the grand-nephew of John Colenso, the first Bishop of Natal.

Jane Portal's father was Gervas Portal, a half-brother of the World War II Chief of the Air Staff, Charles "Peter" Portal.[20] Gervas Portal's mother Rose Leslie Portal née Napier was the granddaughter of General Sir William Napier and his wife Caroline Amelia Fox. General Napier and his brothers, Generals Sir Charles James Napier and Sir George Thomas Napier (respectively Commanders-in-Chief of the British Armies in India and in the Cape Colony), were sons of George Napier (a sixth-generation descendant, via the Lords Napier, of John Napier, the inventor of logarithms) and his second wife Lady Sarah Lennox. Caroline Amelia Fox was the daughter of General Henry Edward Fox, younger brother of prominent Whig politician Charles James Fox; they were the sons of politician Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland and his wife Lady Caroline Lennox. Lady Caroline Lennox and Lady Sarah Lennox were two of the five famous Lennox sisters, daughters of the 2nd Duke of Richmond, son of the 1st Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son of King Charles II and his mistress Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth.[21]

Business career

Welby worked for 11 years in the oil industry, five of them for the French oil company Elf Aquitaine based in Paris. In 1984 he became treasurer of the oil exploration group Enterprise Oil PLC in London, where he was mainly concerned with West African and North Sea oil projects. He retired from his executive position in 1989 and said that he sensed a calling from God to be ordained.[22]

During his oil industry career, Welby became a congregation member at the evangelical Anglican church of Holy Trinity in Brompton, London.[1]

In July 2013, following the report of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards Commission, Welby explained that senior bank executives avoided being given information about difficult issues to allow them to "plead ignorance".[23] He also said he would possibly have behaved in the same way and warned against punishing by naming and shaming individual bankers which he compared to the behaviour of a lynch mob.[23]

Ministry

Welby was at first rejected for ordination by John Hughes, the Bishop of Kensington, who told him: "There is no place for you in the Church of England."[24] Welby was subsequently accepted for ordination, with the support of the Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, Sandy Millar.

From 1989 to 1992, Welby studied theology and trained for the priesthood at Cranmer Hall and St John's College, Durham, where he was awarded a BA degree and DipMin in 1992. He then became a curate at Chilvers Coton and St Mary the Virgin, Astley (Nuneaton) from 1992 to 1995. He then became rector of St James' Church, Southam, and later vicar of St Michael and All Angels, Ufton, Diocese of Coventry, from 1995 to 2002.[25]

In 2002, Welby was appointed a canon residentiary of Coventry Cathedral and the co-director for international ministry at the International Centre for Reconciliation. In 2005, he was appointed sub-dean and Canon for Reconciliation Ministry.

Welby was appointed Dean of Liverpool Cathedral in December 2007 and was installed there on 8 December 2007.[26]

Welby has written widely on ethics and on finance, featuring in books such as Managing the Church?: Order and Organisation in a Secular Age and Explorations in Financial Ethics. Welby's dissertation, an exploration into whether companies can sin, marks his point that the structure of a system can "make it easier to make the right choice or the wrong choice."[27] His dissertation led to the publication of a booklet entitled Can Companies Sin?: "Whether", "How" and "Who" in Company Accountability, which was published by Grove Books in 1992.[28] He has said that the Benedictine and Franciscan orders in the Anglican churches, along with Catholic social teaching, have influenced his spiritual formation.[29]

Interviewed by the BBC in 2011, Welby said that to be appointed Bishop of Durham was both challenging and a huge privilege: "I was astonished to be offered the role. It is a passionate desire to see a church that is vigorously full of spiritual life, serving Jesus Christ and serving those around it."[30] His election was confirmed at York Minster on 29 September 2011 and he left Liverpool Cathedral on 2 October. He was consecrated as a bishop at York Minster on 28 October 2011[31] and was enthroned as Bishop of Durham in Durham Cathedral on 26 November 2011. He was introduced to the House of Lords on 12 January 2012,[32][33] where he sits on the Lords Spiritual bench.[34] He gave his maiden speech on 16 May 2012.[35] He was asked to join the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards in 2012.

Archbishop of Canterbury

Welby and Paul Kim, Primate of the Province of Korea, at Seoul Cathedral in 2013

Welby emerged as a candidate to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury; on 6 November 2012 the bookmakers Betvictor, Ladbrokes and William Hill suspended betting on his being appointed.[36] On 9 November 2012 Welby's appointment to the position was announced. In January 2013, Welby said that he had regarded it as "a joke" and "perfectly absurd" for him to be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, because he had only been a bishop for a short time.[37] His confirmation of election ceremony to the See of Canterbury took place at St Paul's Cathedral on 4 February 2013;[3] on the following day it was announced that Welby would be appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, as all archbishops are;[38] the order for his appointment was made on 12 February[39] and he swore the oath on 13 March.[40]

Welby was enthroned as the Archbishop of Canterbury at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013,[41] which in the calendar[42] of the Anglican churches is an observance of Thomas Cranmer.

Welby's schedule included an official visit to the Vatican on 14 June 2013, with visits to senior Curial officials, including Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, an official audience with Pope Francis and prayer at the tombs of Saint Peter and Pope John Paul II.[43]

Views

Islam

In July 2014, Welby acknowledged that there was a problem with young Muslim youths travelling to the Syrian civil war and elsewhere to wage jihad but the numbers were “extraordinarily small”, and so he scoffed at concerns over the potential for trouble as "hysterical... I think we’re in danger of slipping into a very fearful culture".[44] In 2015, he offered his support for British air strikes against ISIS in Syria.[45] Welby believes that the problem of Islamic extremism is far deeper than combating Islamic jihadists such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Al Qaeda; and that the Gulf monarchies and Saudi Arabia need to be challenged as their "own promotion of a particular brand of Islamic theology has provided a source from which ISIL have drawn a false legitimization."[45]

Ordination of women as bishops

Welby has been a strong supporter of Anglican consecration of women as bishops.[46] Following the narrow rejection of legislation to allow women to be consecrated bishops by the General Synod in November 2012, Welby spoke of a "Very grim day, most of all for women priests and supporters."[46][47]

In July 2013, Welby stated:

In November 2013, Welby stated he aimed to ordain women as bishops while allowing space for those who disagree.

In February 2014, Welby called on Anglicans to avoid fear, prejudice and suspicion and to grasp "cultural change in the life of the church":

Welby would like discipline applied over appointments to prevent opponents of women as bishops feeling alienated. Welby hopes to avoid a zero sum game where people feel gain for one side inevitably means loss for the other, he sees need for caution, co-operation and unity.[51]

Slightly revised legislation to allow women to be ordained Bishops in the Church of England was agreed in July 2014 and became law in November 2014.[52]

Fuel suppliers

Welby feels rises in energy prices in the UK appear "inexplicable".[53] He also feels that energy companies have a responsibility towards customers and should take account of this rather than only maximising their own opportunities.

Welby is concerned about Fuel poverty which he feels is serious as energy costs have risen while incomes remain static or decline.

Poverty

Referring to poverty in the UK in March 2013, Welby criticised UK government changes which cap benefits below inflation.

In a speech at Christmas 2013 Welby said:

In a speech at Easter 2013 Welby said:

Referring to poverty in the UK and generally Welby said that "we should all share concern for the poor and the marginalised, should work to build communities where people act responsibly towards one another, whether we are rich or poor we all have the same dignity. William Beveridge, R. H. Tawney and William Temple played a significant part in establishing the post-war welfare state in the United Kingdom and were committed Christians. We do not have the luxury of saying, 'Something must be done' without doing anything ourselves."[citation needed]

Welby has said that justice of the powerful is not justice at all and judges should decide issues based on truth and the common good rather than class and money.[61] Welby quoted Nelson Mandela that "dealing with poverty was a matter of justice rather than charity." Welby felt that speaking out about poverty, fuel bills, financial insecurity affecting families and Credit unions is part of the Christian duty to love ones neighbour.[62][63]

Welby hopes that people will resolve to help deal with poverty in their own neighbourhoods. In a BBC television broadcast he said, "I want to suggest this year that each of us makes a resolution to try and change the world a bit where we are."[64]

High-interest lending

In July 2013, Welby spoke out against the payday lending sites and met with Errol Damelin, chief executive of Wonga. Welby pledged that the Church of England would support credit unions as society needs to "provide an alternative" to the "very, very costly forms of finance" that payday lending services represent. He noted that he did not want to make legal payday lending illegal as this would leave people with no alternative to using criminal loan sharks.[65]

Shortly after this well-publicised intervention in the public debate, it emerged that the Church of England's pension fund had invested money in Accel Partners, a venture capital firm that had invested in Wonga. This led to accusations of hypocrisy and Welby noted that the investment was "very embarrassing" for the church.[67] Welby and the Church's Ethical Investment Advisory Group were unaware of their investment in Wonga.

Welby also said that the Ethical Investment Advisory Group ought to reconsider rules which allow investment in companies that make up to 25% of their income from gambling, alcohol or high-interest lending.[65]

Food banks

Welby is concerned about increasing need for food banks which would have been "unthinkable" a decade ago. He called the plight of hungry poor people shocking because he did not expect that in the UK.[68]

Welby disagrees strongly with David Anthony Freud, Baron Freud, currently Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, because Welby believes the UK government cuts to benefits have caused or contributed to the surge in food banks. Welby cites Church of England investigation showing social services referred 35% of Durham residents who use food banks when benefits they were entitled to were not paid. Welby stated,

Before Christmas 2013, Welby urged people to give 10% of what they spend at Christmas to food banks.[71][72]

Modern slavery

Welby condemns modern slavery as a crime against humanity, he joined with Pope Francis and leaders of other faiths, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim, in a joint declaration they would work together aiming to end modern slavery by 2020. Forced labour and prostitution, human trafficking and organ trade were specifically mentioned but all relationships that do not respect human equality, freedom and dignity were condemned.[73]

Persecution of Christians

Welby is concerned that Christians are persecuted in some parts of the world, notably in the Middle East, and fears that some risk their lives going to church.[58] Welby also noted that Christians and other religious minorities were made to suffer terribly and were killed in Iraq, which violates article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. People should document human rights violation to enable future prosecutions and to destroy the culture where those responsible expect no adverse consequences. Welby noted that Christians and other minorities face persecution for their faith in many areas worldwide, he cited Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic among others. Welby urged the United Kingdom to open doors to refugees.[74] Pope Francis also spoke out about religious persecution.

Sexuality and same-sex marriage

In March 2013, Welby stated that "My understanding of sexual ethics has been that, regardless of whether it's gay or straight, sex outside marriage is wrong."[75][76] He reiterated this belief again later in 2013, further noting that "To abandon the ideal simply because it’s difficult to achieve is ridiculous.”[77]

Welby affirms the Church of England's opposition to same-sex marriage,[78] but at his first press conference spoke out strongly against homophobia and stated that he is "always averse to the language of exclusion, when what we are called to is to love in the same way as Jesus Christ loves us." He also said "I know I need to listen very attentively to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) communities, and examine my own thinking prayerfully and carefully."[79] Prior to his enthronement he stated that he did not have doubts about the church's policy in opposing same-sex marriages but remained "challenged as to how we respond to it". "You see gay relationships that are just stunning in the quality of the relationship", he said, adding that he had "particular friends where I recognise that and am deeply challenged by it".[80]

Welby sees problems with special services of blessing for same-sex couples.

Personal life

Welby is married to Caroline (née Eaton) and they have had six children. In 1983, their seven-month-old daughter, Johanna, died in a car crash in France.[1] Referring to the tragedy, Welby explained, "It was a very dark time for my wife Caroline and myself, but in a strange way it actually brought us closer to God."[82] Welby established a special day for bereaved parents at Coventry Cathedral where there is now an annual service commemorating the lives of children who have died.[83]

Welby acknowledges his privileged education and upbringing and has been praised for sending his own children to local state schools.[84]

Welby is a French speaker and Francophile, having lived and worked in France.[83] An announcement about his appointment as Bishop of Durham listed his hobbies as "most things French and sailing".[83][85]

Styles

  • Justin Welby (1956–1992)
  • The Revd Justin Welby (1992–2002)
  • The Revd Canon Justin Welby (2002–2007)
  • The Very Revd Justin Welby (2007–2011)
  • The Rt Revd Justin Welby (personal: 2011–2013)
  • The Lord Bishop of Durham (office: 2011–2013)
  • The Most Revd Justin Welby (personal: 4–12 February 2013)[39]
  • His Grace The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (office: 4 February 2013 – present)
  • The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby (personal: 12 February 2013 – present)

Arms

Arms of Justin Welby
Coat of arms of Justin Welby, 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.svg
Crest
(not applicable to prelates)
Escutcheon
Sable a Fess between three Fleurs-de-lys Argent
Motto
Per ignem per gladium

References

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  8. HTB Leadship Conference interview with Justin Welby, interview with Nicky Gumbel
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  43. [1]
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  71. "Archbishop of Canterbury: give 10% of Christmas spenting to food banks". Daily Mail.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  72. "Archbishop of Canterbury: give 10% of Christmas spenting to food banks". Find food banks. December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  73. Archbishop of Canterbury joins world faith leaders in pledge to end slavery
  74. Statement from Archbishop Justin on Iraq
  75. ""Whether it's gay or straight, sex outside marriage is wrong" Archbishop Justin Welby". Anglican mainstream. 17 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  76. Doughty, Steve (17 March 2013). "'My wife keeps an eye on my drinking and I never do it alone': Archbishop of Canterbury reveals his fears of following father into alcoholism". Daily Mail. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  77. "Lunch with the FT: Justin Welby". The Financial Times. 10 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  78. Blake, Daniel (8 November 2012). "Justin Welby to Be Named New Archbishop of Canterbury, Described as 'Unashamedly Evangelical'". The Christian Post. Retrieved 14 November 2012. Welby is known to support the biblical definition of marriage as between one man and one woman; he is against same sex marriage and is opposed to homosexuals serving as bishops.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  79. Bingham, John (9 November 2012). "New Archbishop Justin Welby pledges re-think on gay relationships". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 10 November 2012. The Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, who was formally announced as successor to Dr Rowan Williams yesterday, insisted that he supported the Church of England's opposition to same-sex marriage.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  80. Walker, Peter (21 March 2013). "Archbishop of Canterbury admits to gay 'challenge' for church". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  81. "Welcome same-sex couples or be damned as bigots, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby tells Church of England", The Independent<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  82. Neil McKay (3 June 2011). "New Bishop of Durham left oil industry after daughter's death". The Journal. Retrieved 8 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  84. Brown, Andrew; Davies, Lizzy (8 November 2012). "Justin Welby: an archbishop who could do the business". The Guardian. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  85. "New Bishop of Durham" (Press release). 10 Downing Street: Diocese of Durham. 2 June 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Rupert Hoare
Dean of Liverpool
2007–2011
Succeeded by
Pete Wilcox
Preceded by
Tom Wright
Bishop of Durham
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Paul Butler
Preceded by
Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury
2013–present
Incumbent
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Preceded by
Prince Michael of Kent
Gentlemen
as Archbishop of Canterbury
Succeeded by
The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
as Lord Chancellor