Welby brands them “evil” – but Canterbury Cathedral admits it uses them

People working at Canterbury Cathedral are among those on zero hours

Not for the first time, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has found himself at the centre of a storm as result of his highly charged political comments.

In a speech to trade unionists last week he hit out companies such as Amazon over their tax affairs and branded zero hours contracts “the reincarnation of an ancient evil”.

No sooner had he done so than it was revealed that the Church of England had invested heavily in Amazon.

And it has emerged that people working within Church of England properties are on zero hours contracts.

Canterbury Cathedral is one of them. Spokesman Jane Walker told the Journal: “Flexible contracts, including zero hours contracts, have been used in specific situations such as those for certain seasonal roles around our peak visiting times and in the Cathedral Lodge Hotel in the Precincts.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

“Our use of flexible contracts respects the rights of all parties and the contracts are offered in strict accordance with employment law.”

Mr Welby made his speech at the 150th TUC conference, receiving a standing ovation for his comments on the gig economy and zero hours contracts.

“It is the reincarnation of ancient evil,” he said. “Today there are some who view that kind of oppression of the employed as a virtue.”

He did not apologise for straying into politics. “The Bible is political from one end to the other,” he said.

On tax, Mr Welby said: “‘Not paying taxes speaks of the absence of commitment to our shared humanity, to solidarity and justice. If you earn money from a community, you should pay your share of tax.

“They don’t pay a real living wage, so the taxpayer must support their workers with benefits; and having leeched off the taxpayer once they don’t pay for our defence, for security, for stability, for justice, for health, for equality, for education.”

Amazon has insisted that it pays all the tax it is due to pay while Mr Welby has drawn criticism from Conservatives who accused him of “parroting Labour policies”.


  1. Sounds like…”We are doing you a favour employing you” My answer.. NO YOUR DOING YOURSELF A FAVOUR FOR THE ZERO HOURS CONTRACT YOUR OPERATING.Havn,t got time for this now…gotta go to the foodbank. If he wants to be a Politician…he needs NOT to say YES/NO. Become evasive,inaccessible,tell blatant lies,backtrack,blame someone else, have memory loss when it suits, and be good at blaming everyone else for everything. I think…your better off with the vocation you have,integrity,honesty and generally are about others. I know what i would stick with…my conscience tells me.

  2. Well, let’s just have a look at this then.
    In the firing line; something which is non-existent, not popular with the majority of Brits, promises much, delivers little, offers no guarantees and yet we’re all expected to fall into line and accept that this is the way ahead: the new norm.

    I’m talking, of course, about what the Church of England, of which Justin (on so holy) Welby is top banana, peddles. Zero actual substance, no scientific basis for its various claims and seemingly, no accountability, other than to itself. Where’s Offgod when you need it?

    I have to hand it to Justin Welby: he’s got a nerve! Were I, or you, to don a pointy hat, then offer to the market, in a smoke and mirrors display of rites and rituals, the “beneficial” contents of an empty box, a visit from Mr Plod would shortly follow. Conspiracy to deceive would likely be the charge.
    All of this and the jolly old CofE expects us to pay for the privilege!
    I wouldn’t mind so much, were it not for the fact that Archbishop Welby speaks, in his opinion, to, for and on behalf of our nation, with a mandate from only 2% of the UK population: those who identify as active members of his church.
    It’s somewhat telling, that putting “justin” into Google, offers up Bieber, Timberlake, Trudeau and 4 or 5 more Justins before yer man Welby appears. A sure sign of the times Archbish!

    Zero hours contracts may not be ideal but at least they do actually deliver something to people who need work and all the advantages that such employment brings. Yes, in a perfect world, there’d be full-time, contracted work for 100% of us, for all our lives, with (if the TUC has its way) a 4 day week on full pay. Well folks, that ain’t going to happen. The consumer-led revolution is in full swing and if we, the punters, insist (and apparently we do) on switching from the High Street to online retailers, traditional full-time work will diminish. It’ll be replaced (by our new besht frendz, such as Amazon, eBay et al) with part-time, as-and-when-needed posts. The just in time culture, hiring on a just in times of need basis. NB. Just in case you thought I hadn’t spotted the just in gag: I had!

    Karl Marx wrote that “religion is the opium of the people” and he was spot on. Now, 150 years on, we know how very dangerous opiates are and quite rightly, have banned them. They befuddle the mind and like religion, encourage massively irrational thoughts, yet that seems to be perfectly all right.
    How can this be right? Thousands of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, tens of thousands of lives/minds blighted, billions of pounds wasted on useless wars and Tony Blair walks around, his head held high because God said it was OK. Oh that’s fine then. Again, were we poor mortals to do a fraction of this (Eg. invade a neighbour’s house, loot it, kill his family and expect all of this to be, praise the Lord, at the taxpayers’ expense, we’d rightly be nicked, charged, convicted and probably sent to Broadmoor, to be detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure! Society would need protecting from us!

    So Mr Welby. If you want to be a mainstream politician, become one. Resign, hang up the pointy hat, find yourself a party and then try and get elected. At least then you’ll have a genuine mandate.
    Meanwhile, as the religious leader of a tiny proportion of our population, button it!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here