THE future Bishop of Durham has been announced.
The Very Reverend Justin Welby will leave his post as Dean of Liverpool to succeed Dr Tom Wright, who left Durham after seven years as bishop at the end of August last year.
The announcement by Downing Street that Dr Welby has been approved by the Queen as Bishop Designate of Durham was made on Ascension Day, one of the most important dates in the Christian calendar.
It is somewhat of a homecoming for The Very Rev Welby who studied a theology degree at Durham University and said he is delighted to take over the ancient diocese, which includes Hartlepool, east Durham and Billingham.
The Very Rev Welby, who is married to Caroline, and has five children aged 15 to 26, said: “Coming here means being part of a remarkable community grounded in history, but always moving forwards.
“Because of the heritage and the strength of the area, to be a good Bishop here is about as challenging as it gets.
“This, like Liverpool where we have lived for three and a half years, is a part of the country that has had more than its fair share of hard times.
“Yet also like Liverpool, it is full of fire and life and faith, and capable of attracting investment and energy from all over the world because of the qualities of its people and life here.
“This is a wonderful challenge and privilege, but there is a vast amount to take in.”