Justin Welby, supposedly an evangelical byproduct of big oil and Holy Trinity Brompton – home of the industrial strength evangelism programme, Alpha – is preoccupied with all the things we have come to expect from an Anglicanism that has capitulated to the spirit of the age: homoerotic sex, global warming, wealth redistribution, globalism, transgenderism, lady bishops. You get the idea – all the important stuff.
While the Anglican Communion crumbles around him, Welby has managed to find the time to climb out from under the rubble to declare that Britain’s economy is broken. Are Webly’s extra-curricular obsessions a diversionary tactic? Or perhaps he just can’t face the prospect of following in his predecessor’s footsteps by failing to do his own job and has decided to do someone else’s instead, hoping no one will notice.
Someone has and he is asking: what is the point of the Archbishop of Canterbury?
What IS the point of Archbishop Welby? QUENTIN LETTS questions why the Church of England leader is giving his views on the economy rather than filling emptying pews
The British Social Attitudes survey found the number of people who belong to a religion has for the first time dropped below half of the population.
Only 47 per cent of us now align ourselves with an organised religion and only 15 per cent say we follow the Church of England. Fifteen per cent!
As the U.S. novelist Raymond Chandler nearly said, it’s enough to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window. If only they would.
Unfortunately, today’s bishops are too wet to be stirred to such action.
As for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, he only seems interested in issuing Left-wing cliches about Brexit and egalitarianism.
The fundamentals and the mysteries of belief never seem to pass the lips of this outwardly dull ex-oil executive.
Yesterday’s statistics suggest the C of E is in a dire state.
Here is a once mighty civilising influence, an institution which from the time of Henry VIII has helped mould our sense of national identity and the British character.
It has for 500 years helped the poor and spread ideas of mercy and justice. Its Book Of Common Prayer and King James Bibles are wonders of world literature. This most lyrically Protestant of Churches has for half a millennium defined laws and inner horizons on morality and mortality.
Now barely one in six of us admits to being an Anglican and more than half of us set our faces against any organised idea of the spiritual and transcendent.
In other words, when our loved ones die, more than 50 per cent of us stonily refuse to countenance any glimmer of optimism that their souls may have passed elsewhere, and accept some cold, ultra-rationalist view that we humans are no more than a mere bagatelle of skin and gristle, extinguished at death as surely as a guttering candle.
How did Archbishop Welby respond to yesterday’s depressing social attitudes figures?
I wish I could say he met this crisis head-on, saying he understood or disputed the findings. I wish I could tell you he knelt in Trafalgar Square in public penance, or issued a fire-and-brimstone sermon, or told a joke, or issued a blood-curdling curse on all our houses.
Instead, he gave us his views on . . . the economy. He was putting his name to a report by a Blairite think-tank about economic justice and telling us (not that anyone was listening) Britain’s ‘economic model is broken’ and ‘we need to make fundamental choices about the sort of economy we need’.
Oh, and he was writing an opinion article for the Financial Times. That’s really going to bring in the faithful.
The report promoted yesterday by Welby had all the usual buzzwords and phrases of the London centre-Left: social commission . . . gap between rich and poor . . . new vision for the economy . . . zzzzzz.