Tyne & Wear

Justin Welby: There will be tears on leaving Durham

Bishop Justin Welby
Image caption Bishop Welby was confirmed as the new archbishop on Friday

The next Archbishop of Canterbury has said departing his diocese of Durham will leave "a great gap" in his life.

The Rt Rev Justin Welby said there would be tears on his departure from the city, when he becomes the head of the Church of England next March.

He said the run-up to his appointment was a "difficult process" because he could not speak to anyone about it.

"You'd love to be more open with people but you're stuck with the process as it is," he said in a clip on YouTube.

Bishop Welby was confirmed as the next archbishop on Friday.

The current archbishop, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, retires next month after 10 years in the role.

'Can't leave happily'

In the pre-recorded message to his diocese, Bishop Welby said he would miss Durham "enormously".

"You can't leave Durham Diocese happily. Nobody has in the past," he said.

"When Michael Ramsey went to York, famously, he was seen weeping on Durham station and there will be tears about leaving Durham Diocese for me personally. It will leave a great gap in my life.

"At the same time, the Church has decided that this is where they want me to go."

He also spoke of the lead-up to his appointment, during which speculation over the identity of the next archbishop was rife.

"It's been a really difficult process," he said.

"It's one of those strange things which you can't talk about until it happens. You'd love to be more open with people but you're stuck with the process as it is and there's nothing much you can say."

But he said he felt "very confident" in the future of the Durham Diocese, regardless of who took over his post.

Earlier, Bishop Welby suggested on Twitter that people who made money by correctly betting on his appointment should donate their winnings to parish churches.

His remark came after bookmarkers suspended all betting on the contenders for the job after a rush of bets were placed on Bishop Welby in the run-up to the archbishop announcement.

Ladbrokes, which suspended betting after a flurry of bets placed on Bishop Welby's name, said on Saturday it would donate £1,000 to Canterbury Cathedral.

More on this story