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Friday, 8 April 2016
Archbishop of Canterbury learns real father was Churchill's private secretary
"As a result of my parents' addictions my early life was messy, although I had the blessing and gift of a wonderful education, and was cared for deeply by my grandmother, my mother once she was in recovery, and my father (Gavin Welby) as far as he was able."
He added: "I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes...
"Although there are elements of sadness, and even tragedy in my father's (Gavin Welby's) case, this is a story of redemption and hope from a place of tumultuous difficulty and near despair in several lives."
Archbishop Welby, the most senior cleric in the worldwide Anglican communion, says he discovered the real identity of his biological father in recent weeks.
She said: "Although my recollection of events is patchy, I now recognise that during the days leading up to my very sudden marriage, and fuelled by a large amount of alcohol on both sides, I went to bed with Anthony Montague Browne.
"It appears that the precautions taken at the time didn't work and my wonderful son was conceived as a result of this liaison."
Sir Anthony became private secretary to Sir Winston while he was in Downing Street in 1952, continuing after he resigned as prime minister in 1955 and until Sir Winston's death in 1965.
Lady Williams, who remarried in 1975, says she has not drunk alcohol since 1968.
She added that she had seen Sir Anthony occasionally after her relationship with Gavin Welby ended.
"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.
Educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge, Archbishop Welby spent 11 years as an oil executive, before giving up a six-figure salary in 1987 to train as an Anglican priest.
The decision followed a personal tragedy in 1983 with the death of his seven-month-old daughter, Johanna, in a car crash.
In 2002, he became canon at Coventry Cathedral, before serving as Dean of Liverpool Cathedral and the Bishop of Durham. He succeeded Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury in February 2013.