The Right Reverend Justin Welby, a fast-track leading cleric with links to some turbulent oil industry history, will tomorrow be named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury - just a year after taking the mitre.
Downing Street will confirm the current Bishop of Durham is taking over the top position in the Church of England as successor to Dr Rowan Williams after the Crown Nominations Commission put forward his name.
News came just hours after it was revealed that Bishop Welby, 56, will not make a scheduled appearance on tomorrow's recording of BBC Radio 4 Any Questions at the National Railway Museum at Shildon, Co Durham.
The Eton-educated bishop worked in the oil industry for 11 years before training for the Anglican priesthood, with French oil company Elf Aquitaine and then as treasurer of the oil exploration group Enterprise Oil in London from 1984.
He told radical cleric Giles Fraser in an interview in July he knew it was a dirty business, and a number of colleagues were arrested for corruption, but he was "unable to get away from a sense of God calling."
His interest in business ethics has taken him from being ordained deacon in 1992 to now being a member of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards looking into the Libor fixing scandal.
Bishop Welby's mother was Winston Churchill's private secretary. He is also related to Rab Butler, the former Conservative deputy prime minister, and he is reported to be "conservative on the issue of gay marriage" and "in favour of women bishops."
Keith Flett, organiser of the Beard Liberation Front, said Bishop Welby's appointment reflects a "deep-rooted Establishment pogonophobia."
Foreign Minister Alistair Burt's admission that the Cameron government has "supported" a survey of attitudes to US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas amounts to a tacit admission of British involvement.