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Welcome Welby

The Road to Canterbury

With Justin Welby appointed as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, Inspirational Breakfast talked exclusively to an Oxford academic about Welby's unusual rise to the top - from a highly-paid oil executive to life on a clerical stipend. 

Listen as Rev Dr Andrew Atherstone - who's just penned the first biography about Justin Welby called The Road to Canterbury -  reveals more about the man behind the mitre. 

Why is Welby seen as such a good prospect for a job described by Rowan Williams recently as requiring "the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros"?

The Road to Canterbury

Travellers' Tales

Patrick Forbes speaks to Justin Welby in Travellers' Tales. Listen again to this fascinating interview with the new Archbishop of Canterbury as he reveals more about his faith journey, his background, and the problems facing both him and the Anglican church.

Travellers' Tales

The Archbishop's In-Tray

If you missed Roger Bolton chatting with his panel of guests on The Archbishop's In-Tray about the issues that the new Archbishop faces, including how he will he tackle the state of the Church and dwindling attendance, gay marriage and the Anglican communion, then take a listen to the audio below:

The Archbishop's In-Tray

Hosted by Roger Bolton, the panel included:

George Pitcher, Former Secretary for Public Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Andrew Brown, The Guardian

Ruth Gledhill, The Times

Reverend Rachel Weir, Chair of Women And The Church

The Reverend Canon Jonathan Alderton-Ford, Member of the General Synod for the Church of England

Meet the new Archbishop of Canterbury

Name: Justin Welby

Age: 56 (born 6th January 1956)

Nationality: British

Marital status: Married to Caroline since 1979

Children: Five aged 16-27 (their daughter Johanna died in 1983 in a car accident)

Parents: Gavin Welby (d. 1977) & Lady Jane Williams // He is also related to former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister, Rab Butler

Education: Eton College // Trinity College, Cambridge // St John's College, Durham

Career: Oil & Gas Executive // Curate of All Saints Chilvers Coton, Coventry // Rector of St James, Southam & St Michael and All Angels, Ufton // Canon Residentiary (subsequently also the Sub Dean) of Coventry Cathedral // Priest-in-charge of Holy Trinity Coventry // Dean of Liverpool // Bishop of Durham


Women bishops: At this year's Synod Welby was involved in negotiations to defuse a potential crisis over a vote on female bishops. In a pastoral letter to his diocese on the issue he wrote how he was "committed to, and believes in, the ordination of women as bishops".

Banking: The new Archbishop will bring an experienced eye to back the Church’s criticisms of unethical practice in banking and in industry. Bishop Welby was recently appointed to the parliamentary commission on banking standards, which is looking into the Libor rate-fixing scandal. He has also written extensively on business ethics, including Can Companies Sin? published in 1992.

Gay marriage: He is considered an opponent of same-sex marriage and the appointment of gay bishops. But he is likely to be much less abrasive in his opposition to the gay rights movement than the Archbishop of York, the Right Reverend John Sentamu. He has been less forthright about his views on homosexuality. While he has rigorously defended the Church's right to oppose single-sex marriages, he has also been keen to accommodate opposing views expressed from a position of deeply held faith.

Christian-Muslim relations: Welby worked as the Archbishop of Canterbury's special envoy to Africa, attempting to build unity between Christian and Muslim communities in Nigeria.

Future of the communion: The Church will hope that his passion for resolving conflict and finding workable solutions will equip him for some of the huge challenges confronting the worldwide Anglican community over the coming months and years.

Welby's maiden speech in the House of Lords

16th May 2012

My Lords, I am astonished to be here for two reasons. First, I am astonished that I am here at all. Secondly, I am astonished at the warm welcome that I have received, for which I very much thank your Lordships and all the staff and people who work in this place, who deal very adequately with Bishops wandering around, bleating miserably that they are lost-or, at least, this particular Bishop. It has been a great privilege to have found myself helped in so many ways. I am also grateful to the noble Baronesses, Lady Wilcox and Lady Royall, for their warm welcome today. I look forward to hearing the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Ashton of Hyde, a little later.

I am privileged to be the Bishop of Durham in the north-east of England, which has been one of the most formidable and remarkable parts of this country for more than 1,000 years. It is a source of spiritual and material regeneration and the home of the Industrial Revolution in a way that continues to this very day. We have just heard mention of the new investment by Nissan in car plants and about the SSI steelworks on Teesside and the train assembly by Hitachi within a couple of miles of where Stephenson manufactured the Rocket. These are all areas of intense international competition. These investments show the capacity of the north-east to face anything that comes and to be successful.

This morning I was speaking with the chief executive of the chamber of commerce about a company near Newcastle that makes remotely operated vehicles for subsea work. It has created 500 jobs in the past five years, which, again, is extraordinary. We were talking about how we can develop a trade mission to Nigeria-a country that I know well-in connection with that and with the oil industry, which I also know well.

All these successes mean that the north-east is not a problem to be solved but, rather, an asset to the country to be treasured and valued. At the same time, we face the gathering storms that have been there since 2008 and are getting worse today, threatening even more damage than they have done in the past few years. We see that there are resources and there are great arguments about the rate at which one decreases deficits. However, it is clear to everyone that the Government do not have as much money as perhaps they would like. There are also great arguments about personal indebtedness. Certainly I have recent experience in the north-east of the current level of loan-sharking, which, as someone in Sunderland said to me, is now finding its golden age. People are very stretched.

One area that remains extremely liquid is the corporate sector-an area that I am familiar with, having at one time been the treasurer of an oil company. The Ernst & Young ITEM Club spring report of 2012 said that financial surpluses in the corporate sector are now at 3% of GDP, expected to rise to 5% in 2016, and that last year the sector added £80 billion to its cash hoards. That £80 billion is hoarded in the Keynesian sense of money put away not because it is needed to pay imminent debts or to manage cash flow but, rather, because there is a sense of a lack of confidence. Those are the issues that are being faced.

Even though the north-east is the only part of the country to have a balance of trade surplus, what is making matters worse there is that engineering manufacturers are finding a shortage of skills. With youth unemployment at very high levels, they cannot hire people with the necessary skills for engineering. I have the privilege of being patron of the Northern Echo's campaign for jobs, which aims to create 1,000 apprenticeships and internships over the next 12 months by asking companies to take on extra interns and apprentices. Skills in engineering and manufacturing are learnt not simply in the classroom but by being part of a working environment. One of the best things that can happen-it is seen in the Budget Red Book and is alluded to in the gracious Speech-is the creation of opportunities for new apprenticeships and new learning and skills. However, that needs targeted resources-mere widespread exhortation is not going to do it. The second major area is confidence. As I said, £80 billion is being hoarded because of a lack of confidence. Once again, confidence does not come through exhortation but through action, so companies feel that if they do not get on they will fall behind. On 24 April, the noble Lord, Lord Davies of Oldham, made some passing remarks about the pressure on the construction industry, with the 14% fall in January. This morning, looking at the Bank of England agent's report for the north-east, I read that 15% of all insolvencies in the past quarter were in the construction industry. Confidence comes from cranes and scaffolding: they build confidence as quickly as they erect buildings. Again, when resources are short, we need targeted use of money to bring about quick investment.

All over the country, particularly in the north-east, in schools and in the area of listed buildings-to the unschooled, I am dressed in a white nightie and a black dressing gown which means I have an interest in listed buildings as you might imagine-there is a large number of what President Obama refers to as "shovel-ready" projects. Those targeted investments saying, "You can have funds, grants, help and allowances provided you break ground within six months", would immediately create large numbers of jobs at a much lower cost than we were hearing last week had been spent on some job creation exercise.

The whole object is not merely economic growth and human flourishing. With economic growth we are able to deal with some of the great issues of human flourishing, such as loan-sharking, the breakdown of families, the high levels of unemployment and the 1,100 people who have visited a food bank that I opened last week-a food bank in this country. Such things destroy human flourishing and diminish the human spirit. The need for confidence and investment in skills is not merely to have a bigger economy but to enable us to see a transformation of our society. These things will not happen merely through exhortation but they require action and leadership.