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Warm welcome for new Archbishop elect from church leaders

The announcement of the next Archbishop of Canterbury Rt Rev Justin Welby has been greeted positively by many within the Church ...

Archbishop of York Rt Rev John Sentamu, himself seen as a candidate at one stage, tweeted: "Justin Welby can count on my prayers, brotherly affection and support as he prepares for Canterbury", and Bishop of Lichfield the Rt Rev Jonathan Gledhill called the announcement "very good news for the Church and for the Nation, for the Commonwealth and the world-wide Anglican Communion".

Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones - himself considered in the race at one stage - commented: "Justin has a range of skills and abilities that will equip him well in this important ministry. He can be assured of the faithful prayers of the Diocese of Liverpool as he prepares for this historic opportunity."

Methodist leaders have welcomed the appointment of Justin Welby as the new Archbishop of Canterbury. In a statement Church leaders praised Welby for his "spiritual depth and wisdom". Bishop Welby's Methodist colleague in Durham, the Revd Ruth Gee, described him as a valued colleague and expressed her delight at his new appointment.

Evangelical Alliance general director Steve Clifford said: “This is a huge step forward for the Church and we hope that in the coming years under Justin Welby’s leadership the Church of England will continue to play a vital role in the life of the nation. We are confident he will bring unity to the Church so that it can speak with one voice."

And Mark Russell, Church Army Chief Executive and former Archbishops' Council Member, said: “I am delighted, excited, and thrilled by the news that Justin Welby is to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Bishop Justin is a radical thinker, and he understands how to change organisations. I believe his appointment will bring the Church of England encouragement and challenge in equal measure.

“This is an inspirational appointment, and Church Army joins me in assuring Bishop Justin of our love and prayers as he prepares to take office. I hope the whole Church will rally behind Bishop Justin and that he won’t have to suffer the continual back biting that Archbishop Rowan had to endure.”

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