Dean Welby said he and his family lived in the area between 1989 and 1992 and one of his children was born in the area.
He has been Dean of Liverpool since 2007 and he said the two areas were similar in terms of the challenges they had faced but also their spirit.
He said: "This, like Liverpool where we have lived for three-and-a-half years, is a part of the country that has had a more than its fair share of hard times.
"Yet, also like Liverpool, it is full of fire and life and faith, and capable of attracting investment and energy from all over the world because of the qualities of its people and life here."
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