The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby , one of the most revered pontiff worldwide, has confirmed that he is the illegitimate son of a one-time private secretary to Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister.
Welby, the most senior figure in the Anglican Communion consisting of some 85 million Christians globally, said the news had come as a ‘complete surprise’.
The 60-year-old only made the discovery in the last four weeks – but insisted he was not disturbed by it.
‘In the last month I have discovered that my biological father is not whiskey salesman Gavin Welby but, in fact, the late Sir Anthony Montague Browne.
‘I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes.’
Welby had assumed that his father was Gavin Welby.
Montague Browne, who had one other child, a daughter named Jane Hoare-Temple, died in 2013.
According to Telegraph, the family had long discussed the striking resemblance between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Montague Brown – and Welby himself was aware of the rumours. He had even met the man who would later turn out to be his father as a child.
A comparison between a swab from his mouth and hair samples from Montague Browne, who worked for Churchill between 1952 and 1965, showed a 99.9779 per cent probability that they were father and son.
Welby said both his mother Jane and Gavin Welby had been alcoholics, although he stressed that his mother had not touched alcohol for nearly 50 years.
‘It appears that the precautions taken at the time didn’t work and my wonderful son was conceived as a result of this liaison,’ she added.
She said that after leaving her job and getting married, she did not see Sir Anthony again for a long time.
‘After Gavin and I broke up in 1958 Anthony and I met occasionally but although he may have asked how Justin was, there was nothing that gave me any hint that he might have thought he was Justin’s father,’ she said