9 Apr 2016

Archbishop of Canterbury discovers identity of biological father

2:33 pm on 9 April 2016

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has discovered his biological father was the former private secretary to Britain's war-time leader Winston Churchill, and not Gavin Welby as he believed.

The Archbishop says his father was the late Sir Anthony Montague Browne.

The spiritual leader of some 85 million Christians globally, says his mother, Jane Williams, and his late father Gavin Welby were both alcoholics when he was a child.

The archbishop's mother, now married again as Lady Williams of Elvel, says she and Gavin Welby had a "short dysfunctional marriage" and that DNA evidence of her son's paternity comes as "an almost unbelievable shock."

The DNA tests were taken after Britain's Telegraph news publication gathered evidence to suggest Sir Anthony Browne was Welby's father.

Justin Welby was installed as the archbishop of Canterbury in 2013.