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The Most Reverend Justin Welby

Kirsty Young talks to the Most Rev Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Kirsty Young's castaway for Christmas week is The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby.

Ordained as a priest in 1993, 19 years later he was appointed to lead the Anglican communion of over 77 million people spread across 167 countries. Hardly a front runner when the job vacancy came up he said that it would be "a joke" and "perfectly absurd" if he were appointed.

His faith has brought him high office but when he 'found God' at university, it gave him something a good deal more significant: a sense of much needed comfort after an often turbulent and uncertain childhood. Although his mother's side of the family provided stability, his father was an alcoholic and his childhood was punctuated by his parents' early divorce and significant money worries - one particular Christmas was spent hungrily staring out of the window as his father lay in bed all day.

He says, "When the church is working it is the most mind-bogglingly, amazingly, extraordinarily beautiful community on earth. It heals, it transforms, it loves, and it changes society."

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Boxing Day 2014 09:00

Music Played

  • The Tokens

    In the Jungle (the Lion Sleeps Tonight)

    • Radio Gold Vol.3.
    • Ace.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    The beginning of Symphony No.6

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Performer: Herbert von Karajan.
    • Deutsche Gramophon.
  • John Tavener

    God is With Us

    Performer: Holst Singers.
    • John Tavener Collection.
    • Decca.
  • Kachipo of South Sudan

    Yesu Odechi

    • Kachipo of South Sudan.
    • Nairobi Lighthouse Church Studios.

    • Matt Redman & Beth Redman

      Blessed be your Name

      • Best Worship Songs..
      • Virgin.
  • Gerry & the Pacemakers

    You'll Never Walk Alone

    • The Very Best of Gerry and the Pacemakers.
    • Music for Pleasure.
  • Michael Berkeley

    Listen, Listen, Oh My Child

    Performer: David Flood. Performer: The Choir of Canterbury Cathedral. Performer: David Newsholme.
    • From the Enthronement of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • The Bach Choir & London Symphony Orchestra

    Requiem Aeternam from Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem

    • War Requiem.
    • Decca.

    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon


    The Complete series of the West Wing on DVD


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Justin Welby
Producer Cathy Drysdale


  • Sun 21 Dec 2014 11:15
  • Boxing Day 2014 09:00

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