Christian (and bearded!) minister appointed Welsh Secretary

(PA)Stephen Crabb

Christian MP Stephen Crabb has been appointed as the new Welsh Secretary in David Cameron's cabinet reshuffle.

Now famed for being the first bearded Conservative cabinet minister in over a century, Crabb began his political career as a graduate on the CARE Leadership Programme (Christian Action Research and Education) - an initiative which offers young Christians placements in the public sphere.

Crabb, who has said he is "very pleased" to take up his new role, has rarely spoken openly about his faith during his time in office, though he has lent his voice to campaigns for the right to religious freedom in China, and was one of several signatories on a draft amendment to a 2008 law which criminalised hate speech based on sexual orientation.

He signed a call for the law to include protections for freedom of speech, which was later included.

Crabb is also a member of the Christian Conservative Fellowship (CCF), the executive director of which, Colin Bloom, welcomed his appointment, telling Christian Today: "We've always had Christians in parliament, and we're particularly pleased that two excellent ministers [Crabb and Nicky Morgan, now Secretary of Education] have been appointed to the cabinet and they will go on to make, I'm sure, outstanding Secretaries of State."

Bloom went on to comment that Morgan's predecessor, Michael Gove, did "a fantastic job in education and will go on to make a great Chief Whip".

Crabb is succeeding David Jones, who has been axed from the cabinet. "We wish him [Jones] all the best as he returns to the back benches. His contribution to British public life has been enormous," Bloom noted.

He also commented on Cameron's renewed call for Britain to retain and celebrate its Christian roots, and noted that this is likely to continue with the presence of Christians in the cabinet.

"The Prime Minister has led the charge on restating and reclaiming the Christian heritage of our nation...I think it will be more of the same in terms of reminding the British public that we're a Christian nation and not ashamed of it," Bloom declared.

Welsh-born-and-bred Crabb praised the Church of England's move this week to permit women bishops, tweeting:

At just 41, he has been Conservative MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire for almost a decade, and also served as Assistant Government Whip between 2010 and 2014.