things you might not know about Justin Welby, the Arch Bishop of Canterbury

justin and nickyIt’s one thing reading an interview in a paper or getting a journalist’s account on ABC Welby, but it was great to watch him being interviewed live on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall by his friend and brother in faith, Nicky Gumbel.

So I learnt a lot about the new head of our Anglican church that I didn’t know before. Here are some of my notes on what he said:

Interview with Bishop Welby:

The key moment in finding faith was realising what God did for us rather what he wants me to do for Him.

Used to smuggle bibles in to the communist block in an old Renault camper van with a false floor. The vehicle had an electric false floor that could hide up to a 1000 bibles.

Just a summer holiday activity while working for a big oil company.

Experienced a good model of leadership in his corporate job, where he was trusted, and had responsibility delegated to him, and was allowed to get on with it. A place where he learnt a lot about leadership.

Being a Christian in a non Christian work place taught him the truth about how everyone has a vocation whether they are a Christian or not

Speaks about the indescribable pain of his daughter, Joanna, who died in a car crash after a short time in intensive care….

But it was also a time where he felt God’s presence more than any other time in his life.

Experienced being deeply surrounded by the love of Christ in his pain, and it is a rare day that goes past in which he doesn’t think of her, but that it is always connected together with the memory of how they and his daughter were held and are still held in God’s embrace.

Used to be at HTB. Was a lay pastor for about 40 people there before he got ordained, holding a fortnightly home group, while of course working as an executive in an oil company.

It was an exciting time when the church was growing, and it is good for us to remember that it is natural for churches to grow,

But of course it is also v hard work, it’s about ‘take up your cross and follow me’

He was impressed by how his htb leaders had a toughness in their leadership, but a toughness with love.

He was originally turned down for ordination.

Was seen as less qualified than the other 999 who had been interviewed.

He was quite hopeful that he would get turned down, cuz busy family and anyway in a great church and so was happy to have less pressure.

He was asked by the person interviewing him: “Why do you want to be ordained?”
His answer: “I don’t. But I can’t get away from it.”

He was originall a vicar for a community suffering from high unemploymentbit different from HTB

Next church….40 people. More people paid to be there than voluntarily there…not a good model for church growth….again learnt a lot. And how evangelism needs to be at the top of your list aside from the regular work of births, marriages and funerals.

Did a lot of Alpha. Got the nickname of Mr Alpha.

Alpha gave people the confidence to talk to other people about their Christian faith

Experienced v dangerous situations in Nigeria when he went there on peace initiatives. One situation where a local pastor had to plead for his life with a local militia leader.

Fear is dealt with by grace.

His vision for Liverpool when he was the bishop there was that the cathedral should be a safe place to do risky things with Christ’s work.

Again in Durham as the Bishop it was also about taking risks, “we need to be a risk taking church. There is no safety in Christ but there is security.”

– growing the church
– re imagining the ministry
– and……

Reconciliation within the church will be how the world will come to know Christ and know God…

We need a renewal of prayer,

You create reconciliation through the imitation of Christ

We cannot live for our cause to win, but we have to live for His cause to win.

We will experience the deepest wounds coming from other Christians.

How is your Prayer life?
“Not good enough, but certainly under real stress and danger prayer is a natural place to go.”

Prays over a passage of scripture normally with a commentary, in the morning

Has been reading Isaiah 34 and 35 for the last two weeks. To understand the meaning of God’s word on a deeper level…I don’t move on until I feel God has nothing more to share with me about that passage.

Praying about my life and being honest with God, and praying for family and the church and friends etc….

And pray for being enabled for Christ to guide me .

30 mins of silence twice a week in the chapel to listen

What do u see as the opportunity at this moment?

We are going through a big spiritual change partly due to the economy…

The state needs people who will fill the gap in the rolling back of the welfare state

I have a bigger hope for the church than at any other point in my life,

But the Church will not grow with out a growth in prayer.

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working at 43LG church community in West London

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