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Bishop of Norwich welcomes Archbishop of Canterbury announcement

PUBLISHED: 11:32 09 November 2012 | UPDATED: 11:36 09 November 2012

The Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich.

The Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich.

Archant © 2012

The Bishop of Norwich has welcomed the announcement that the Bishop of Durham has been unveiled as the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Rt Revd Graham James had been tipped as one of the contenders to succeed Rowan Williams, but it was announced today that the Rt Revd Justin Welby would become the 105th Archbishop - and spiritual leader of the 77 million-strong Anglican Communion,

The Bishop of Norwich said: “I am delighted about the appointment of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury.

“He has the gifts to lead the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion with distinction.

“He has made a big impact as a bishop over the past year but has a wide experience which will serve him well and benefit all of us. He can be sure of my prayers and unreserved support in his new and demanding ministry.”

Bishop Welby, an Eton-educated former oil industry executive, today told a news conference at Lambeth Palace: “This is the best-kept secret since the last Cabinet reshuffle. To be nominated to this post is both astonishing and exciting.”

Bishop Welby was the fourth most senior cleric in the Church of England before the announcement that he would succeed Rowan Williams.

No 10 made the unusual move of announcing the appointment on social networking site Twitter, stating: “Downing Street is pleased to announce the appointment of Justin Welby as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.”

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