The bishop of St Albans has said that he is looking forward to working with the new Archbishop of Canterbury, who was officially appointed this morning.

Reverend Alan Smith has shown his support for Justin Welby, who will take up the most senior post in the Church of England.

Justin Welby, who is currently the bishop of Durham, will replace Archbishop Rowan Williams who will step after ten years.

Reverend Smith said: “I am delighted to hear the news.

“He is a man of prayer and deep faith who brings a breadth of experience to the role.

“His five years of ministry in Coventry, followed by his time as Dean of Liverpool Cathedral have given him a profound understanding of the problems and opportunities of urban life in Britain today.

“As the leader of the Anglican Communion, he will be able to draw on his overseas experience and knowledge of other world faiths.

“In his present post as Bishop of Durham he has been grappling with issues of economic regeneration in the North East of England as well as helping the churches engage with their communities in relevant ways.

"He will make a worthy successor to Archbishop Rowan Williams and I look forward to working with him."

The new archbishop, who studied at Cambridge University, spent 11 years in the oil industry before studying theology.

Reverend Smith added: “His work in the oil industry has given him insight into the business world and provided the raw material for his writing and speaking about corporate and financial ethics.”