John Bingham and Nick Wynne Jones Daily Telegraph
Sources have confirmed that the Eton-educated bishop will be announced as successor to Dr Rowan Williams as early as Friday, after the Crown Nominations Commission put his name forward to Downing Street.
It marks a meteoric rise for the former oil executive who has been a bishop for only a year, but insiders described Welby as "the outstanding candidate".
Last night a spokesman refused to confirm his appointment. But it came a few hours after he pulled out at short notice from a planned appearance on the BBC Radio 4 discussion programme Any Questions due to take place in County Durham on Friday.
He also cut short a retreat with diocesan staff and returned to the capital where it is understood his wife is travelling down to join him tomorrow.
Earlier this week bookmakers stopped taking money on Bishop Welby after a flurry of bets on him being chosen.
Sources in Canterbury earlier attempted to play down the expectation, with one even suggesting that they had been “surprised” that it was not him.
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A new Archbishop of Canterbury is obviously of significance to the whole of the Anglican Communion. We cannot help but wonder how or whether he will contribute to or help resolve the profound doctrinal divisions within the Communion. But right away, immediately, for better or worse, we will see how hard he works in the face of the Women Bishops measure to create a secure and protected place in the Church of England for Catholics and Evangelicals, a secure and protected place which was promised to them at the time of the decision to ordain women priests. It is a question of integrity just as it is in the wider Anglican Communion. You do not have to be a theologian or even at Christian at all to know that there is a really serious problem, when the governing bodies simply lie or claim that integrity depends on how synod votes this year or next year.
Either way it means we all are just drinking the Kool-Aid.
The Church of England is no longer the measure of all things Anglican but in this case it remains true: how the English Church goes on this issue, so the rest of the Anglican Communion will go. What the new Archbishop does in England is a good indicator of what he will do with the rest of us.
Pray for him. Pray for the Church.