Justin Welby's challenge to find single Church of England voice

The next Archbishop of Canterbury faces an 'age-old' comms challenge of finding a single authoritative voice for the Church of England, its comms chief has suggested.

Skilled mediator: Justin Welby
Skilled mediator: Justin Welby

Bishop of Durham Justin Welby, who will take the top Church of England job in December, has acknowledged the 'deep divisions' within the Church around gay marriage.

He has been labelled 'a reconciler' by the Church's director of comms, the Reverend Arun Arora.

Referring to his experience of mediating between Christians and Muslims in northern Nigeria, Arora said Welby had 'skills for reconciliation and bringing different parties together and (is able) to recognise disagreement'.

He added: 'There is an ageold problem for the Church of England, which is: who speaks for it? It's anyone in the pews, vicars, bishops and the synod. But when everyone speaks for it, there is no clear message. The difficulty for any new Archbishop of Canterbury is speaking with a voice of authority.'

One element of Welby's comms approach will be the use of social media. Welby is the first Archbishop of Canterbury on Twitter and it is expected he will use it to modernise the Church's approach to social media.

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