Justin Welby, leader of world’s 85 million Anglicans, discovers his biological father was Sir Anthony Montague Browne, not the whisky salesman Gavin Welby who raised him
The Prince of Wales speaks with the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Justin Welby following his Enthronement at Canterbury Cathedral. (AP Photo/Chris Ison, Pool)
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has discovered that he is the illegitimate son of a one-time private secretary to Winston Churchill — and not the child of an alcoholic Jewish whisky salesman as he had previously believed.
Welby, the most senior figure in the Anglican Communion consisting of some 85 million Christians globally, said the news, reported in Friday’s edition of the Daily Telegraph, had come as a “complete surprise.”
But the clergyman, the most senior bishop in the Church of England, insisted he was not disturbed by the revelation.
“In the last month I have discovered that my biological father is not Gavin Welby but, in fact, the late Sir Anthony Montague Browne. This comes as a complete surprise,” Welby said in a highly unusual statement issued through the Church of England.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
“I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes,” said the London-born Welby, who is 60.
Welby had previously believed that his father was Gavin Welby, the son of German Jewish immigrants to the UK, and believed he had relatives who perished in the Holocaust.