The Bishop of Durham Justin Welby, who is strongly opposed to equal marriage, is set to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Ruth Gledhill, religious affairs correspondent at the Times, has told the BBC that Bishop Welby is “conservative” on the issue of marriage rights for gay couples but is “absolutely in favour of women bishops”.

The Eton-educated former oil executive was only made a bishop last year.

The Crown Nominations Commission, which nominates two candidates to the prime minister, who then advises the Queen on the appointment, had been locked in a period of deadlock in choosing a successor to Dr Rowan Williams.

Last month, Dr Williams, admitted the Church of England’s attitude to gay relationships had often been harmful to people on the receiving end of its message.

Earlier this year, Dr Williams also said that while his leadership was “wrong” not to have advocated gay equality, David Cameron was wrong to have embarrassed the church over the issue of equal marriage.

Bishop Welby is likely to take a less-nuanced approach on LGBT issues.

He is firmly against same-sex marriage and is also opposed to gay people serving as bishops.

Theologically he has been described by the Telegraph as “unashamedly part of the evangelical tradition, upholding a more traditional and conservative interpretation of the Bible than some in the Church of England.”

The 56-year-old was named on Thursday as the replacement for Dr Williams, who steps down in December after 10 years in the post.