Congratulations, Your Grace
Not York; not London; not Liverpool or Norwich. The CNC's lot has fallen on Durham, and His Grace would just like to congratulate His Grace on his elevation to the See of Canterbury.
Justin Welby is on record as saying that he has 'neither the experience nor the desire' to lead the Church of England and become Primus inter pares of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, but that, of course, makes him ideally suited to the task. He possesses humility and sober judgment, which probably comes of spending 11 years in the oil industry before seeking ordination.
His Grace isn't concerned that Bishop Justin is an Old Etonian: what he did with his education is more important than where he was educated. And Bishop Justin chose to expound the biblical vision for humanity and reflect on the centrality of Christ in a fallen world. He chose to dedicate his life to the enrichment of humanity - not with oil and money, but with Christian witness and the light of spiritual truth. He is clearly capable of preaching 'with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other'.
The future won't be easy - the Church of England is intent on tearing itself apart over utterly peripheral and ephemeral sociological issues. As he walks his new path, Bishop Justin must remember each day that to live is Christ; to die is gain. In accordance with Scripture, he must be blameless - permitting nothing in his private life that others can take hold of to attack the church. He must be the husband of one wife - which he is, of course. But the emphasis is on maintaining the biblical pattern for marriage and the family. He must be temperate, not given to extremes of passion, but reliable and trustworthy.
A church leader must also be sober-minded, which Bishop Justin manifestly is. He can think clearly and express himself with clarity. He must be of good behaviour - orderly, modest, dignified. He must be hospitable, with a home open to both friends and strangers. His Grace looks forward to receiving his invitation to take tea with His Grace.
And he must be able to teach - skilled in biblical exposition, in the pulpit of his cathedral, in Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street, and the media. One assumes that he is not given to wine, except for the occasional Rioja or Shiraz. And not violent, either publicly nor privately, but prefers to let God fight his cause. It is evident that he is not greedy for money ('filthy lucre'), for he turned his back on the oil business for a life of ministry.
And he must be gentle (he looks it), and not quarrelsome or covetous. He must rule his own house well (His Grace will be checking with both son and daughter via Twitter): neither seems to have rebelled.
And a leader must not be a novice. Certainly, +Durham is not as experienced as (say) ++York or +London, but he is clearly no spiritual child: he has deep roots, and isn't prone to the sin of pride.
And finally, he must be a man of good testimony: his qualifications for the task and suitability for the role must be evident to all, even and especially to non-believers.
We must pray for those in authority - political and spiritual - for they are all appointed by God, whether in the White House or Lambeth Palace. As today the world focuses on the re-election of President Obama, let us remember with humility that we tend to get the leaders we deserve.