By Matthew Barrett
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David Cameron has welcomed the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who was appointed this morning. The Prime Minister said:
"I welcome Justin Welby’s appointment as the new Archbishop of Canterbury. The Church of England plays an important role in our society, not just as the established church, but in the provision of education, help for the deprived and in furthering social justice. I look forward to working with the Archbishop in all of these areas and I wish him success in his new role"
Reactions towards the appointment, which has been rumoured for a number of days, have been positive, on the whole. Welby has been the Bishop of Durham since October 2011, and amongst those who have welcomed the appointment is Fraser Nelson, who used his column in this morning's Daily Telegraph to draw attention to Bishop Welby's views on the future of the Church (he believes "the Church’s mission is to explain the Word of God to people who have grown up having never heard it"), and, amongst other things, his work on the House of Lords' banking committee ("a shrewd and effective interrogator of bankers, easily able to master detail").
Tim Montgomerie wrote last month about the "shock-and-awe" reforms recommended by Conservative MP Gary Streeter that a new Archbishop might make, including selling Lambeth Palace. This might put him on the front pages of newspapers for the right reasons, and…
"…at least for a little while a generation that has hardly heard the Christian story might become curious about this man who lived two thousand years ago and changed the history of the world in such profound ways."