CoE primate learns who his biological father really is

The Archbishop of Canterbury has discovered that his biological father is not who he thought it was.

In the last month, Archbishop Justin Welby discovered that his biological father is not Gavin Welby, but rather the late Sir Anthony Montague Browne.

This was revealed by DNA testing.

Sir Anthony was Sir Winston Churchill’s last private secretary.

In a statement, Archbishop Welby noted that his mother, Jane Williams, and his father, Gavin Welby, were both alcoholics.

Mr Welby died in 1977 as a result of alcohol and smoking, when Justin was 21.

“My mother has been in recovery since 1968, and has not touched alcohol for over 48 years. I am enormously proud of her,” the archbishop said.

He went on to say: “My own experience is typical of many people. To find that one’s father is other than imagined is not unusual.

“To be the child of families with great difficulties in relationships, with substance abuse or other matters, is far too normal.”

Archbishop Welby added that the revelation about his father “has, of course, been a surprise, but in my life and in our marriage, Caroline and I have had far worse”.

“I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes.

“Even more importantly my role as archbishop makes me constantly aware of the real and genuine pain and suffering of many around the world, which should be the main focus of our prayers.”

Archbishop Welby agreed to the DNA testing after media reports about his family background.

After discovering the result just before Easter, his first thought was reportedly for his mother, and he contacted her.

Lady Williams, whose marriage to Gavin Welby broke up in 1958, had worked as secretary to Sir Winston during his final spell as prime minister.

She said the news of Justin’s paternity result had come as an “almost unbelievable shock”.

She said: “Although my recollection of events is patchy, I now recognise that during the days leading up to my very sudden marriage, and fuelled by a large amount of alcohol on both sides, I went to bed with Anthony Montague Browne.”


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