Britain named a former oil executive as the new Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the world's 80 million Anglicans on Friday as the church struggles to overcome a painful rift over the issues of female bishops and same-sex marriage.
Welby, 56, who has been bishop of the northern English city of Durham for little more than a year, will replace incumbent Rowan Williams who steps down in December.
The long-awaited appointment, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron's office in a statement, follows weeks of intense speculation that a row over whether to choose a reformer or a safe pair of hands had stalled the nomination process.
For Welby, the move capped a meteoric rise up the Church of England hierarchy since quitting the business world and being ordained in 1992.
The bespectacled father-of-five is seen as more conservative than the liberal Williams and is widely reported to be against gay marriage but in favor of the ordination of women bishops.