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Archbishop Justin Welby

The Road to Canterbury

by Andrew Atherstone


Price: £7.99
Publisher:DLT (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
Published:March 2013
So you wondered at Justin Welby's "meteoric rise", as it's often called, to the post of the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury? He's a bit young to be an Archbish isn't he (57)? What sort of man is he, and what are his qualifications? This little biography (it's "unauthorised", as the writer is keen to point out) will answer your questions. Andrew Atherstone, who is a Tutor and Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, has written what he calls "the tale of Welby's road to Canterbury". I found the tale became fascinating with Welby's years at Enterprise Oil, where his leadership and management gifts developed - all to prove useful for his later role in the Church, as was his reflecting on the ethics of finance. Equally interesting for me was the account of Welby's time at Coventry Cathedral's International Centre for Reconciliation, which led him into situations of great personal risk, and left him with a passion for justice and reconciliation. Once again these experiences shaped the future archbishop's convictions and suitability for Canterbury. The book finishes before Welby's enthronement in 2013, but it is a helpful, popular and readable account of all the phases of his life up to then. Andrew Atherstone has written much about the Anglican Church, and describes it as being "as much in turmoil as ever before", with its future shape hanging in the balance. It was into this "war-torn context" that "Justin Welby the reconciler was plucked from the Diocese of Durham and thrown upon the international stage as the next Archbishop of Canterbury". Yes, it's quite a story. But we should recognise Welby's deepest desires, which are: for the Church to emphasise evangelism, worship and unity, and for himself simply to be known as "someone who loved and followed Jesus Christ".

Reviewer: Barry Vendy   (17/05/13)
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