Support the Café

Search our Site

New Welby bio guesses at his conversion

New Welby bio guesses at his conversion

It has long been known that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, had a conversion to Christianity when he was a young student in college. Welby himself has described his conversion under the influence of evangelicalism at Cambridge.

A new biography that will be released June 26, however, theorizes that an incident that happened much earlier might have spurred the bishop’s religious journey. The book, written by the Rev. Dr. Andrew Atherstone, recounts the story from when Welby was 18 years old, and went to Kenya to teach mathematics during his gap-year.

Welby’s roommate was devout, and recorded in his letters home what occured when one of their students at the Kenyan school was found to have hung himself in the woods off campus.

It was on a Sunday afternoon around the beginning of June, when the two volunteers were the only teachers on site, that they were called to take charge when one of the students had hanged himself in some woods nearby.

“Justin and I, since I was on duty, had the melancholy task of dealing with the affair,” Mr Kelly wrote to his parents.

Not two weeks later, Mr. Kelly writes to his parents that his roommate is praying again, wants to reconcile with his father, and considered himself a Christian. “I honestly don’t know if in Justin’s mind the two were connected”, wrote his roommate.

For Rev. Dr. Atherstone, they are, who believes that the trauma of dealing with a student’s suicide led the young Justin Welby to contemplate life’s deeper meaning and turn to faith.

The link to preorder the book is here.

You can read the whole article here, and contemplate for yourself.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jesse Zink

After the latest Amazon kerfluffle about books, I’ve been deliberately checking other sources. For British readers, this book is currently cheaper at Church House bookshop online than it is on Hopefully, when it gets picked up by an American publisher, the same will be true.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café