When one is a well known figure, one doesn’t always have a lot of control about the press interfering in one’s life! So it was for The Most Revd Justin Welby, the highest clergyperson in the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Instrument of Communion to the 80+ million strong Anglican Communion. He was approached by the Telegraph prior to Easter regarding family history research about the Archbishop that the periodical had been conducting. They had hairs from a brush they had obtained from the late Sir Anthony Montague Browne’s widow. Sir Anthony had been private secretary to Sir Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of Great Britain. According to the Bishop of Norwich, chair of the Archbishop’s Council, the Revd Graham James, +Justin had agreed to the paternity test to disprove the conjecture that Winston Churchill’s private secretary was his biological father. +Justin’s mother, the current Lady Jane Williams of Elvel, had been a secretary to Winston Church at the same time. And she later admitted to a brief affair with Sir Anthony just a short time before her hasty marriage in the United States to Gavin Welby.
+Justin’s parents welcomed his birth almost 9 month’s to the day after their 1955 marriage, and never suspected that he wasn’t the biological child of their marriage. His parents divorced in 1958. At the time of their marriage and in +Justin’s early childhood both of his parents were alcoholics and not always capable of caring for him properly as their child. Gavin Welby died in 1977. His mother entered treatment for alcoholism in 1968 and has maintained her sobriety since that successful intervention. She married +Justin’s stepfather, Charles Williams, in 1975. Lady Jane said that she found the news of +Justin’s paternity to be a total shock.
The Archbishop has published a response to the news on his Facebook page. The main image is from his Facebook page.
Lady Williams has responded to the news in an article in The Telegraph. The family photo is from that article.
The Bishop of Norwich was interviewed by the BBC.