Archbishop of Canterbury “does not like what he sees” of modern Britain

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Unlike his predecessor Rowan Williams, the present Archbishop of Canterbury does not shun the limelight.

Dr Williams was a serious scholar whose messages largely came through his numerous publications on theological subjects, including a masterpiece on the role of faith in the works of Dostoevsky.

Justin Welby, on the other hand, has repeatedly used mediums like Twitter and tv interviews to make public pronouncements on myriad social and political issues.

Two years ago he published his first book, which garnered little attention. His latest book Reimagining Britain: Foundations for Hope, however, promises to cause ripples far and wide.

As its title suggests, the book is an examination of the ills and issues of modern Britain and how they can be overcome to build a better society.

Mr Welby will be discussing his thoughts at Canterbury Christ Church University in a talk next month.

Christ Church’s Augustine House

But reviewers have already been poring over the book’s content.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Rod Liddle says: “The Archbishop of Canterbury has had a look at Britain and does not much like what he sees.

“A broken and polarised country in which the poor continue to get poorer, with an education system that rewards the well-off and the privileged and a National Health Service starved of funding.

“This book is his blueprint for how we might heal the many divides in our country. It is kind of one part Jesus Christ, three parts Ernest Bevin and five parts a Guardian op-ed feature.”

Mr Welby’s book examines areas of life such as public and mental health, housing, education, environment, economics, peace-building, overseas development, immigration and integration.

He also looks at how faith can contribute to a fairer future.

In the pages of The Guardian, former bishop Richard Harries described the book as a “brave attempt” to give fresh hope to a demoralised Britain.

He writes: “With a country in so many ways adrift from its moral moorings, we cannot begin to think sensibly about policy without reaffirming the values that hold our life together and, while he draws on biblical narratives, the values he champions are ones that hold across religious and secular divides.

“These values need to be built into individuals as virtues and into organisations as good practices.

“He then sets about applying them to what he regards as the building blocks of any society: housing, health, finance, education and the family.”

Mr Welby will appear at Canterbury Christ Church University’s Augustine House at 6pm on Wednesday, April 11.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here