Next Archbishop Of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Guest Edits Local Paper Before Leaving Durham

The next Archbishop of Canterbury has guest edited his local paper in one of his last roles before taking on his new job.

The Bishop of Durham The Right Rev Justin Welby took charge of Saturday's edition of the Northern Echo and gave front page prominence not to any divisions within the Church on gay marriage or women bishops, but to a scheme to help young people find work.

Bishop Welby edited the paper a year ago, when he was new to the job in Durham, to recognise the creation of the Darlington Foundation For Jobs, of which he is the patron.

A year on it has been a success, winning backing from local firms to create more than 100 apprenticeships and over 100 internships. He hopes the scheme can now be extended elsewhere in the country to help more young people find work.

Welby guest edited the Northern Echo for the second time on Saturday

After the scheme's first anniversary the bishop took to the editor's chair again - following such famous names as Sir Harry Evans and WT Stead, who perished on the Titanic.

Speaking at the newspaper's Darlington offices yesterday, Bishop Welby said: "The Northern Echo must be very brave to invite me back a second time, I am sure the paper will read far worse tomorrow than would normally be the case.

"But on a serious note, I am delighted to do this again to celebrate the first birthday of the Foundation For Jobs.

"This is a really important scheme and the success it has achieved breaking all of its targets is a testament to the passion of the people of the North East.

"The Foundation was set up to get young people into apprenticeships, internships and back into work, it has also worked closely with schools, colleges, businesses and Teesside University to allow young people to explore the world of work - and it has been a great success.

Welby will be taking over the role from Dr Rowan Williams

"The importance of this project to the flourishing of communities in the North East can not be underestimated.

"Getting young people into work and equipping them with the skills needed to grow the local economy is the way that communities and economies can move from strength to strength.

"I would really like to see this fantastic scheme replicated widely - to allow other communities across the country to benefit."

His last day of official engagements in the North East also included a visit to local engineering firm Cummins and a scheme which helps young people learn skills by recycling bikes.

In his leader column for the paper, he wrote: "I will miss this area terribly, am grateful to it, and will go on pushing for it. Thank you for all you have given me."