He had believed his father was Gavin Welby, but the archbishop’s mother, Lady Williams of Elvel, 86, has admitted an illicit liaison with Sir Anthony in an encounter ‘fuelled by a large amount of alcohol on both sides’. DNA evidence confirmed that Sir Anthony was indeed the archbishop’s biological father.

The archbishop said, ‘This revelation has, of course, been a surprise, but in my life and in our marriage Caroline and I have had far worse.

‘I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes.

‘At the very outset of my inauguration service three years ago, Evangeline Kanagasooriam, a young member of the Canterbury Cathedral congregation, said: “We greet you in the name of Christ. Who are you, and why do you request entry?” To which I responded: “I am Justin, a servant of Jesus Christ, and I come as one seeking the grace of God to travel with you in his service together.” What has changed? Nothing!’