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About This Blog

This blog is part of the Lay Anglicana website, which aspires to be the unofficial voice of Anglican laity worldwide and to offer a place to exchange news and views from the pews.  Whereas the site in general hopes to be objective, the blog shares the standpoint of Anthony Trollope: “I trust … I shall not be thought to scoff at the pulpit, though some may imagine that I do not feel all the reverence that is due to the cloth. I may question the infallibility of the teachers, but I hope that I shall not therefore be accused of doubt as to the thing to be taught”. (Barchester Towers)

About Me:


Lay Anglicana
Editor, Lay Anglicana

Gender: Female
Occupation: Editor of Lay Anglicana
Location: Hampshire, United Kingdom
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15 comments on this page:

Tim Welby said...

Hello, I read your article on my father with great interest- not least because it was better researched, and more factual (as aposed to attacking or the opposite which almost all other blogs seem to be (perhaps in an attempt to up readership?))

I was interested in your third point at the bottom of 13th August 2012. You are talking about the Welby family tree. If you find the link you were looking for I would be most interested. My brother and I have done a substantial amount family history and have never connected the two.

The family understanding has always been that when Bramhall James Welby returned from south africa he picked Welby because he thought it sounded english. Certainly we have never been able to track this line back beyond Bramhall James Welby

Lay Anglicana said...

How very kind of you to say nice things about my piece on your father. I really do think he would make a most excellent Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican Communion, and I do hope that circumstances allow me to be proved right.

I am writing to you under separate cover about the family tree.

14 August 2012 11:18
14 August 2012 11:15
Dave Morris said...

I discovered your article whilst trying to research any Welby connection. The sister of one of my 3x great grandfathers married one of the Lincolnshire Welbys, and like Tim, who obviously has a far greater connection here, I have thus far also been unable to find any link, but am interested if one is established.
I am also related to the Hampshire Portals, and was similarly looking for a link with the family here.
I would like to add that I do have a family connection, through a common Fox ancestor, and would like to say hello to Tim who is my 8th cousin!

12 November 2012 09:47

I am a professional genealogist and a Oxford-educated Anglican based in Vancouver, Canada. I have looked into the archbishop-designate’s paternal ancestry and can assure you that he does not descend in the male line from the Welby family of baronetcy fame. Indeed, the Rt Rev. Dr J. P. Welby belongs to the first generation of his family to bear that surname from birth. I have written an extensive article on the subject which I hope to have published.

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you for commenting. You are certainly the first person I have come across to be so certain of the archbishop-designate’s ancestry, certainly more certain than (+)+ Justin’s own family, although I think they also do not believe they are related to the Lincolnshire Welbys. I have made it clear that my conclusions are what I regard as the balance of probability. I look forward to seeing any conclusive evidence but, until you publish your article or reveal your proof, I prefer to maintain my hypothesis, as I am sure you will understand.
(I wonder which college you went to – standards must be slipping if you are under the impression that it is correct to write ‘a Oxford-educated’).

Joyce Hackney said...

As for wondering which Oxford college anyone attended,I should point out that the selectors at Culham required an applicant to be educated already. 🙂

17 November 2012 12:38
16 November 2012 17:18
16 November 2012 11:34

I read your blog quite often and found today your post on newly elected-Archbishop of Canterbury Justin P. Welby. I do knwo there is an ongoing discussion about the personality, the backgrounds of his family. I would not go into this. On the other hand, may I take the liberty to draw your attention to some facts. The Anglican Church had quite a long list of “Hebrew Christian” priests and bishops in the course of the nineteenth century. Cf. J. Jocz’s “The Jewish People and Jesus Christ”. Many came from Eastern Europe, from the undefined borders between the German areas, present-day Poland, Prussia, the Russian Empire. Other came from Germany, indeed because of the pogroms.
Were they linked to some personal “mystery”, “James Bond-like personal story if not fairy tales”? No. On the other hand, it makes sense for the British to “scan” their résumé. In Jerusalem, the Church of England had the first Anglican Archbishop of the Holy City, designate in 1841: Solomon Alexander Pollak, born in Tauroggen, i.e. Prussia that, at that time was a part of the Tzarist Russian Empire, raised in a German and Jewish context. Thus, he could connect many parties and this is why he was chosen to be sent to Jerusalem in a middle of local troubles or “mishmash”.
It is quite understandable to try to trace back the “pedigree” of one of the most important personalities in the Kingdom of Great-Britain. You are very involved in geonealogy and this is fascinating. And it is normal and really interesting to find out the ancestry of a person. It is much more delicate and quite difficult to get to the specificities of those who lived in a context that history has wiped out from Europe or that had no other choice than to change… It has been quite a blessing for the Church and England as well as for the Episcopalian Church. It allows also the faithful to focus on the price of God’s choice. But the whole thing only starts as far as concerns the new Archbishop.

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you very much for commenting Archpriest Alexander – I am honoured that you read my blog. Although I understand the overall meaning of what you say, I am not sure I have fully grasped the nuances. I think perhaps you mean that we are wrong to make light of the problems of the nineteenth century with its battles, shifting boundaries, anti-Semitism and so on which made the mass movement of people anxious for new lives a reality? I realise the reference to James Bond and so on might be offensive in this context, which I regret. I suppose my point is really that Gavin was born in 1910 into the safety of a London suburb; it was his father and perhaps an earlier generation that may have felt it necessary to flee to England. But it was Gavin who seemed to offer a variety of names and dates of birth, which he himself did not need to do: in other words, I think he was perhaps caught up in the drama of it all. On the other hand, I may be quite wrong in my interpretation of the available facts.
I should add I have nothing but the greatest respect for (Arch)bishop Justin, whom I have a strong feeling may be just the person to lead a revival of the Church in England, and perhaps even elsewhere. This is what I sincerely pray for.

17 November 2012 01:32
17 November 2012 00:17
Sally Jarvis said...

Good to find this site Laura., particularly for a 2nd year reader in training (Isle of Wight).

Lay Anglicana said...

You are very welcome, Sally 🙂

16 November 2014 09:40
16 November 2014 05:54
elizabeth koepping said...

Just come across this site when looking for an image for tomorrow’s service- and found the scales of justice, which fits well with the Taize ‘God is forgiveness, dare to forgive…’ which I heard at a Taize service in Istanbul this week. I’m ordained, currently serving in Germany, and am so happy to see a lively lay web-site: all churches are too top-heavy, whether leaders are in T-shirts, collar and tie or lace and chasubles. Working on spousal violence across the world, perpetrated by lay and ordained Christians, in eleven denominations and 17 countries, my conclusion is that the shameful ecclesial silence will only cease when lay people accept their individual responsibility to live in love and justice themselves, and to speak up when they know church leaders, whether lay or ordained, are abusive to their partners. In general, Church leaders and teachers prefer not to act, though may react quietly. For Christians, it should not be seen primarily as a social welfare issue but one of theology: either we are all made in the Image of God (Gen 1:27) or we are not.

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you for this lovely comment 🙂

14 November 2015 17:30
14 November 2015 10:13

Hi Laura – seeing the above comment prompted me to thanks you again , now I am a 3rd year r- In training . Still great to see this blog , not just for the finesse of your words but their freedom. Makes me realise that the lectionary is s diving board rather than a constraint .
Gratefully yours
sally Jarvis
All Saints’ Ryde, Isle of Wight

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you so much, Sally. Yes, when I began I felt that the lectionary was like an old-fashioned corset such as Scarlett O’Hara was laced into in ‘Gone With the Wind’. But it has been fascinating doing it as a weekly discipline, I now feel much more comfortable with the structure, using it as you say as a diving-board.

On another point, since you say you are a Reader in training, I wonder whether you would be interested in joining our discussions on Facebook about the proposal to increase the number of Readers by over 60% – quite a tall order!The page is – hope to see you there?

17 November 2015 00:16
16 November 2015 20:35
John Fradgley said...

Blessings from Australia Laura,
I have only just read of the difficulties you are facing and want you to know that you and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers over these coming days. I am sure that so many prayers come to you from many people here in Australia as I am know they do from so many other parts of the world that gain such inspiration from your writings.
God bless you and strengthen you now and always.

14 May 2016 11:50

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