Leading article

Thank heavens for Justin Welby!

At last we have an Archbishop of Canterbury who is a voice of reason, intelligence and authority

15 November 2014

9:00 AM

15 November 2014

9:00 AM

For decades, interventions of the Archbishop of Canterbury in national debate were like a sporadic bombardment of small pebbles against the door of Downing Street. Justin Welby has changed all that. This week, payday loan companies are facing reform (or in some cases oblivion) as new caps on interest payments come into effect. That the industry finds itself in this position is thanks, in no small part, to it having been hooked around the neck by the Archbishop’s crosier.

Welby has inspired reform of the industry not by trying to set himself up as the leader of the opposition in a cassock, but by acting as an effective leader of the Church of England. His approach to the payday loan industry was not to demand that it be banned, he being aware that an even darker industry of doorstep loan sharks would replace it, but to compete with it head on. He took the church to the needy by supporting credit unions which will do the job of Wonga but without annualised interest rates of 5,853 per cent and threatening letters from fictitious firms of lawyers.

Welby’s intelligence on financial matters stands in direct contrast with that of his predecessor, Rowan Williams, whose pronouncements on current affairs so often came across as those of a lofty professor who had found himself in the wrong lecture hall. Straying from divinity to economics in a piece for this magazine in the middle of the 2008 banking crisis, Williams resorted to a generalised attack on markets and went on to demand a ban on short-selling. This rather missed the point that the traders who had been making money short-selling the shares of banks were only able to do so because they had spotted that the banks were in trouble before anyone else had. Their activities were a symptom, not a cause, of the banking crisis.

Justin Welby, who of course had a career in business, would never resort to the bizarre charge that markets are malign in themselves. On the contrary, he recognises that the church operates in a market of its own, competing for souls. He is from the Church of England’s evangelical wing, which is growing, and his calls for local churches to support credit unions and work with the Treasury on reforms to payday lending are themselves a kind of evangelical mission which, while not necessarily expanding congregations on sink estates, does much to demonstrate how financial services can be harnessed as a power for good.

Welby’s has been a serious voice on banking matters — one which has been lacking in Parliament. Bankers are not evil, he said of his highly successful time serving on the banking commission, they just made a classic and unsophisticated error of borrowing short and lending long. Few in the City could argue with the analysis, yet no one in government has really appreciated this and come up with a credible plan to stop the same thing happening all over again. This is perhaps no surprise, given that government, too, has been borrowing short and lending long: keeping its finances propped up with short-term bonds while committing itself to huge pension payments and the like many decades into the future.

Welby is one of the few voices from a position of power and influence who has expressed concerns about quantitative easing. He is one of the few figures, too, who sees what’s wrong with trying to pump up the bailed-out banks into something approaching their former glory. Instead, he has suggested seizing the opportunity to break them up to create regional banks attuned to the needs of the Wonga classes.

In temperament and approach to matters of religion, Justin Welby is less like Rowan Williams and more like his Catholic opposite number, Pope Francis. Both are modernisers who have ended the carping about their respective institutions being out of touch with the real world and yet who have done so without compromising the values upon which their churches are founded. Rowan Williams often seemed to behave more like an interfaith outreach worker than an Archbishop, bizarrely trying to speak up for sharia law (something which many British Muslims came to this country to escape), and only this week he made headlines again by suggesting that anxiety about schoolteachers wearing full-face veils was ‘misplaced’. Welby, by contrast, has not shied away from speaking out against persecution of Christians in many parts of the Muslim world — and he speaks from his own experience of working in Africa.

No one has condemned homophobia more effectively than Justin Welby. Yet never has he strayed from the view that marriage is defined as a union between one man and one woman and that the state has no right to try to change this. How favourably this contrasts with David Cameron’s politically opportunist pitch for liberal-left votes.

The Tory leadership has been caught out many a time by Welby’s independence of mind. Perhaps because his mother was an assistant to Winston Churchill and he is the great-nephew of Rab Butler and an Old Etonian to boot, the government assumed him to be a dependable Conservative, and has been caught out by his refusal to conform. Downing Street officials have been known to call Lambeth Palace to complain that they have not been given advance warning of his speeches, as if he were a government minister or Conservative candidate.

He is, of course, neither — and nor is he Her Majesty’s Opposition. His political skill has been to place himself in a position in which both main parties believe him to be on their side. At a time when no politician is able to give leadership on moral issues, we have an Archbishop of Canterbury with the intelligence and judgment needed to exert proper power and influence. Once again, Lambeth Palace has become worth listening to.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments
  • Diggery Whiggery

    “He took the church to the needy by supporting credit unions which will do the job of Wonga but without …….”

    No they won’t, not for everyone.

    Anyway, now that he is no longer a banker, maybe he could talk about faith a bit. The C of E should be a bit more than a public cheerleader for the welfare state, especially as it’s the very thing that marginalized the church’s influence on society in the first place.

    At some point he might actually have to talk about God and stuff and try to sell the concept to people. It’s a tough sell in this day and age, but if he doesn’t do it, who will?

    • Samson

      God wants you to do it, Diggery Whiggery.

      • Diggery Whiggery

        LOL, I seriously doubt it.

        • Swanky

          Whatever it is, I seriously doubt it, too! : )

        • Samson

          He says you should send your CV but you’ve got the job either way.


      • paulus

        He must I was inspired by his words of wisdom, If he can motivate a broken down cynic such as myself and clearly you, he is surely our leader.

        • Samson

          He wants me to learn how to play Sweet Child of Mine on a Ukulele. I was like “dude, this isn’t happening” but he was like “mysterious ways, man – mysterious ways.”

      • Andrew Pantelli

        God wants us all to do it!

    • rtj1211

      Perhaps nowadays more people, unlike you to be sure, are more impressed by deeds than sermons. I impute the Godliness of a man, even an Archbishop, not by his sermons, but by his actions.

      For me, he doesn’t have to say the word ‘God’ once from now until he meets his maker, if by his actions he is silently spreading God’s word by example.

      I am not alone in thinking that if he wants to invoke Peter, Paul and the merry band of disciples, he can do so most effectively by providing modern solutions to today’s problems by enacting what he thinks that such disciples would do 2000 years after they actually kicked the bucket.

      • Diggery Whiggery

        “unlike you to be sure”

        Not really, I’m actually not at all religious. I just find it curious that CofE clergymen have just become cheerleaders for the welfare state that’s all and seem to avoid all mention of the G-word.

        I didn’t say that they should be all sermons and no action.

        • Swanky

          Good point: is that what Jesus really wanted? Jesus died for credit unions, the dole, and subsidized housing?

          • Samson

            Jesus was against giving to the poor?

          • Swanky

            Well, there’s charity and then there’s daylight robbery. The Left doesn’t seem to know the difference.

          • RobertC

            He did expect the poor to do their bit:

            I don’t think it is about investment bankers. It is about someone who cannot be bothered and wastes his talents.

            It was paraphrased many years later:
            “From each according to his ability …”

          • classicmds

            Jesus died so that the world could be restored to justice.The New Testament tells us that Jesus died so that his followers can become “the justice of God” i(2 Corinthians 5.21) n the world. While there is legitimate debate about what this means in practice, Jesus himself lays some foundations for what the mission of the church is: to pursue peach, service and challenge power and injustice. It is worth noting that Welby would be the first to admit that pursuing justice is multi-faceted involving both church organizations, voluntary societies, NGOs, and national and international governments.

          • somersetsage

            as you did it to the least of my brethren , you did it unto me. I am not be word perfect but as person who draws a lot upon Buddhism and the interconnectedness of people, I appreciate what he is saying and the church is also about action in this world, not just the devotion.

          • Mm. I would prefer more emphasis on entrepreneurship and fending, as adults must learn to do, for oneself.

        • Andrew Pantelli

          They go hand in hand!

      • Suzy

        For you, he may not have to say the word ‘God’ once; but I’d rather take my cue from the One to whom I’ll have to give account: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions….” 2 Tim 4:1-3

    • classicmds

      (a) He talks about God (and, more to the point, Jesus, which is a harder word to say in public) all the time; (b) the Christian Gospel is good news and justice for the world, the coming of God’s just rule. The church is called to be the agent of that mission. Yes, it must explain why it does things, but it is called to do them too, not just talk about them; (c) setting up a voluntary association of Credit Unions is not exactly supporting the welfare state, but quite the opposite, They are part of a tradition of mutual local responsibility that pre-dates the welfare state

    • Higgs Boatswain

      I have no idea where this perception comes from that Justin Welby ever talks about anything except God. From the Spectator, perhaps? God help us.

    • Anna055

      He talks about God quite a lot – it’s just that the papers don’t often quote those bits!

  • Arash Babaee

    it is spectator or Gurdian? are you serious? Were you high when you wrote it? You really think that Church could do the job of Wonga? I am just laughing at you. The idea of credit unions is a complete failure unless it is backed by poor tax payer funds. it had been tried in other countries with no success. Dear Spectator, you know well that in a free market it is not the job of the government to set interest rate. Wonga wants to charge its customers 10000000% it is up to him and its clients. No one forced them to borrow. Yes there may be issues such as bogus letter, but could you name a governmental organization that has not done 100 times worse! What happened to the people died in NHS? What about the rapes and police faults? What happened to flood disaster and environmental agency? I am fed up that when it comes to private companies any single mistake should be punished with maximum force but for government everyone forgets after a while. This Archbishop who is paid by tax payers to do nothing, is not under any regulatory inspection, could use tax payers funds to run a business is a complete failure, because socialism and government intervention are failed. I am so sorry that your paper is not better than Guardian!

    • ChristopherH87

      ‘No one forced them to borrow’…

      Erm except for the corrupt governments that permitted fractional reserve banking, which made it impossible to function in this economy without going in to debt. Try getting a house without going in to debt….!

    • ChristopherH87

      The trouble is that governments, left and right, want the state to back big business rather than allowing free markets. Free markets with co-operatives providing services would be a decent alternative to the current situation where the state supports the wealthy and throws crumbs to the poor in the form of the welfare state to compensate for the masses of inequality it creates.

      • thomasaikenhead

        “The trouble is that governments, left and right, want the state to back big business rather than allowing free markets. ”

        Yes indeed, because it is big business that fund political parties1

        You have provided a wonderful example of how this system operates, the political term is ‘fascism’!

        • ChristopherH87

          Do you agree, therefore, that Fractional Reserve Banking has to go and is one of the main causes of wealth inequality and as a consequence lots of society’s issues?

          If we have to have a state-backed currency then it should at least be democratically accountable and under strict guidelines, not at the whims of big business in the form of banks and their directors/shareholders.

          • thomasaikenhead

            Jekyll Island and all that?

    • rtj1211

      Neither the Church nor the Government are setting Wonga’s interest rates. They may, however, be prepared to lower them in their own offering, thereby seeking to steal some of Wonga’s customers from them.

      ‘No-one forced them to borrow’.

      You will of course starve your children of food to retain your debt-free purity, won’t you?? You will endanger their health by not turning the heating on when it’s freezing cold this winter.

      You will in fact cause your neighbours to ring up social services to have your children removed for their own safety, because your debt-free purity is more important than the human obligations that your parenthood imposes upon you.

      Life is more complex than you think……..

    • paulus

      The archbishop isn’t paid for by tax payers you cretin.

      The Governemnt is constantly subject to litigation and most of the British banking system is underwritten by government loans. And funny enough the state has traditionally prohibited this practice under the Law of Usuary.

    • Joel Vladimir

      I’m glad to see that the devil has spoken in the semi-religious debate.
      It would be rather one sided without.
      I’m not religious. I find it incomprehensible that your argument is attacking the welfare state in one breath and saluting the free market, then follow by highlighting the dangers (lone sharks) that come with a free market.
      By no means do I seek to condone any governmental failures but I suggest that the damage caused by irresponsible private companies is by and large hidden from the public eye when compared with any government.
      If you genuinely believe that people turn to loan sharks out of a calculated and emotionless decision – you live in a dreamland. Credit unions provide honest support for communities that idiots like you have no understanding of. Don’t pretend to have our interest in mind.
      The article has an ugly PR stance and overboils this intervention from the Arch Bishop, however your reaction screams of the Daily Mail or Telegraph rather than the Guardian which your claim to read!

  • Geoff103

    He’s as daft as the last one.

    • Swanky

      Did you even the read article? He’s self-evidently not ‘daft’, whatever Williams may have been (Leftist, in his case).

  • Aaron Laird

    Watch your head, Justin. Haven’t we learned from Russell Brand’s example that trying to do anything positive just brings the dreary cynics and trolls out of the wood-work? They won’t offer viable alternatives and they have nothing of value to add but they will, sure as the sun rises, pick holes in everything you do and call you names. I was going to suggest that you ignore them and just keep doing what you’re doing but I suspect you’re way ahead of me.

    • Haven’t we learned from Russell Brand’s example that trying to pass yourself off as an intellectual by using the verbiage of an EngLit undergrad with an inferiority complex without fundamentally saying anything will win you the heart of millions of clueless lefties, aiding sales of a new book + countrywide tour? And, some would say unsurprisingly, invite the scorn of commenters on a right-wing blog?

      … I fail to see how any of this has anything to do with Mr. Welby.

      • Swanky

        I fail to see how this is a right-wing blog. Nothing the least bit ‘right-wing’ about the Spectator (and a jolly good thing, too). It’s just Not Left.

        • Oh yes, of course, how silly of me. Why would I expect this blog to be right-wing? We can’t be giving those nasty right-wingers a voice – aren’t they all bankers and racists and stuff like that? You’re right, it’s a jolly good thing this isn’t one, as I for one think we don’t have enough leftist publications to read bilge on.

          …did you lose your way to the Guardian?

          • Swanky

            You misunderstand me. I reject ‘right-wing’ as a slur, and worse. The various virulently anti-Semitic, anti-foreigner, similar-to-the-Nazis parties of Weimar Germany c. 1919 to 1933 were right-wing. No English party today bears any resemblance to what they believe. Calling yourself ‘right-wing’ is just handing a false self-defeating gift to the socialists. Don’t do it.

          • So where do the BNP, Liberty GB, Britain First rank on your new spectrum? Are they centrist?

          • Swanky

            I’ve only heard of the BNP and have not studied their platform. I would guess that the BNP is populist and therefore to some degree socialist. They seem unattractive, and I’m glad they’re marginal. But I doubt they are totalitarian statists.

            Anyway, the parties at issue are the mainstream ones, including UKIP. And UKIP is NOT ‘right-wing’.

    • whs1954

      Is this the new response of the idiot left? Anyone who criticises Russell Brand and his ilk – they’re just cynics; they’re just trolls; they’re just jealous of his success; they’re ‘the Establishment’ or the Establishment’s paid hirelings and lackeys; they’ve got no alternative while he has; they’re mere pickers of holes, and how dare they pick holes.

      Do you never stop to think Brand’s critics might be sincere people who look upon his self-aggrandising sixth-form crap as what it is? And that they are permitted to disagree? That they aren’t just ‘calling someone names’ but slapping down an ignoramus?

  • Sean L

    An Archbishop of Canterbury who speaks with authority . . . on *finance*. He’s even condemned ‘homophobia’. . . A colossus!

  • LDavidH

    Thanks for a good article and a fair, appreciative “evaluation” of Welby!

  • Christian

    The spectator is allegedly a conservative magazine yet it refers to the manufactured ‘homophobia’ as a reality. What exactly is conservative about this thing?

    • rtj1211

      When bloggers at this site state that being a poof is a fundamental reason for not being allowed to be a Minister of the Crown, I think it is fairly clear that some of your fellow readers here are imbued with homophobia at a fairly deep level.

      Don’t worry, they also think that working women are slags and as for dark-skinned politicians, well the only solution is a one-way ticket back to bongo-bongo land!!

      Plenty of moral defectives blogging at the Spectator, friend…….

  • Blindsideflanker

    The Church of Not England has a long way to go before it has any relevance to me.

    • Samson

      Welby knows that – you’re number 4 on the church’s to-do list, Blindsideflanker. The Pope’s also got you in his sights and Isis would like a word but the dalai lama is like Hey it’s all good, peace.

      • Blindsideflanker

        Well may be I would consider the CoE has some relevance to me if it showed it had some interest in the people of England, like not remaining silent about the English young, sick and old getting discriminated against.

        What good is a church when it abandons its young, sick and old?

  • Andrew Smith

    This was the sort of thing Churches used to do: preach something with substance and then back it up with practical action. The bearded hand-wringing of the last forty years has got us nowhere.

  • What exactly DID Welby do in the city? It would be instructive to find out.

    • rtj1211

      He was the financial controller for an oil exploration group, which invested in West Africa and The North Sea.

      In other words, he will have managed finance in an exploration-heavy, high-risk-, high-return financial environment.

  • “bizarrely trying to speak up for sharia law (something which many British Muslims came to this country to escape)” … is that so?

  • Fenman

    Aaron laird can’t you see Brand is a giant troll and cynic?

  • Swanky

    There would be much less need for lending of any sort if the government’s tax rates were not so rapacious. In this case, human suffering really is the government’s fault. Too much deducted from paycheques, too much VAT for transactions. With all this thievery and pillaging going on, it matters little that council rates are reasonably fair.

    • rtj1211

      Roads. Best built holistically to minimise the devastation of our ‘green and pleasant land’.

      Trains. Best planned holistically to prevent over-capacity and subsequent intergenerational outrage due to Beeching style closures.

      Hospitals. Global studies show that the least cost effective medical provision is pretty much in the USA and the most effective are those sponsored by the State.

      Schools. Usually a good idea to stop those little terrorists getting ideas by rampaging the streets all day. Keeps the paedophiles at bay too.

      Defence. Even brazen right wingers like you probably think that stopping old Vladi or some 21st century Napoleon landing on Brighton Beach and marching to London to take over Buck House is a good idea. it costs money, you know.

      Prisons. Usually a good idea not to let some crazy throat-slitting psychopath do that to your nearest and dearest, isn’t it? Not to mention the drug pushers that turn your kids’ friends into junkies before they’ve even shagged their first girl. It costs money, you know.

      Coppers. I now far too many of them are on the take from old Rupe and all that, but they occasionally do some good, at least in stopping football thugs beating the hell out of each other and generally smashing up pubs, high streets and little old ladies’ favourite coffee shop. Last time I heard those dreadful bolshie boys in blue were paid middle class wages. Scandalous.

      Firefighters. Utterly pointless bunch of dossers, aren’t they?? Far better to get you and me to fail to stop the house burning down, as claiming on the insurance is far more productive that saving your children’s lives as they were trapped in their bedrooms with flames below, isn’t it?? Even more scandalous that this bunch of red-nosed-reindeers get middle class wages.

      Now if you want to have to pay for all those things on a ‘pay as you go’ basis, good for you. Most sane people prefer the peace and quiet, the security and the sense of society that paying for them communally brings.

      There’s always Vladi’s Russia for you to emigrate to. 15% flat tax rate, last time I checked it out.

      Just be careful you don’t call Vladi something nasty over there though – he’s a bit more interventionist about critics you know……..

      • Swanky

        I think you may have misunderstood my point, which was specifically that socialist legislation of the banking sector makes any bubble worse and forces banks to do risky things when most banks are inherently risk-averse (to avoid going bust).

  • Zanderz

    Welby is no Carey, he’s just Williams lite. I’d hoped for a return to some robust defence of Christianity but it seems that Williams insipid hand wringing has left it’s mark. I fear Welby will be presiding over the breakup of Anglicanism as the traditionalist ‘developing’ countries separate from the liberal west.

    • Swanky

      For a robust defence of Christianity you’d need a robust Christianity to defend. I don’t see much robustininity in Christianity in Britain these days, do you?

      • Zanderz

        Yes, but in the free churches. Anglicanism is 70% dead. Reform – the traditionalist sector of Anglicanism are very sound, but not listened to. In my city we have 5 large free churches (500+ members each) that are fairly sound, however, because they are predominately middle class there is a great reluctance to confront any of the issues we discuss here.

        Additionally some are crippled with Reformed Theology; calvanism and replacement theology.

        • Swanky

          Do you mean that the more Catholic-leaning Anglicans are more ‘on fire’, the High Church types in spirit if not in class, or do you mean those that are closer to the dissenting Protestant tradition?

          • Zanderz

            Those closer to evangelical / protestant traditions are vocal opponents to current progressive ideologies. A lot of the High Church Anglicans have moved over to Catholicism. Basically, in the UK the liberal sector is the major voice.

          • Swanky

            Are those that moved over to Catholicism more or less staunch or robust than the evangelicals, would you say? In short, which tent has the bigger support?

          • Zanderz

            Which tent has the bigger support? I’m not sure, but in general the CofE is not listened to. The UK is a secular country and anyone with Christian faith is dismissed in the media and public discourse. Those Christians that seek to enter debates must all do so with secular reasoning. Mention God and it’s game over.

            I feel pretty voiceless. And in truth it’s refreshing to talk to Muslims or other faiths as at least there is an understanding that there is a spiritual dimension to life.

          • Swanky

            Yes, I think you’re right and I can understand how you feel about it. Thanks for your replies.

      • Samson

        I’ve been robustiating it for awhile now. Watch this space, or space in general.

      • sebastian2

        The robust Christianity came from Michael Nazir Ali. Guess what happened to him.

        Welby is a product of the CoE establishment which, as we all know, has surrendered. Surrendered everything except its privileges. You disagree Justin? Stand outside a Midland’s masjid and preach Christs’s gospel. Call mohammedans to Christ. Show me I’m wrong.

      • Simon_in_London

        My local Anglican church is pretty robust.

        • Swanky

          Not falling down — great!

      • classicmds

        Yes: try the African immigrant churches and Black Pentecostalism. Highly robust.

  • Al Bowlly
    • Al Bowlly

      15 down-votes. Go figure.

  • John Muir

    Welby has one job, and one job only … and that is to point out to a bemused congregation the difference between salvation and damnation… which is the free choice facing every human being… the choice between celebrating an eternal life in a Christ-filled heaven and enduring an eternal life in a devil-filled hell.

    • classicmds

      His job is to preach and encourage people to act on the realities Gospel, which includes, but is a huge lot more, than your summary of it.

    • Samson

      You have the same level of doctrinal comprehension as a wonky-eyed yob who’s seen some Christianity on TV

  • Malus Pudor

    Criminalise Wonga, Payday and FIFA… c’est tout !

    • Nanko Costers

      They’re legally operating businesses. If you don’t like it maybe you should move to North Korea or some other Socialist Utopia.

  • That’s 2 posts of mine that have been suspended so far for daring to show how much spin there is on this article. The writer must be really trying to protect Welby from reality.

    Let’s see if this one gets through.

    Regarding Welby’s ‘robust’ speaking out in defence of Christians persecuted in many of the Islamic nations, as this article asserts, Damian Thompson did write a more honest appraisal a few months ago here with this:
    Islamic extremism and the hypocrisy of the Church of England.

    Any wonder with the (lack of) spirit displayed by so many Church leaders, Michael Nazir Ali excluded, that so many are not attracted to it?

    • “Regarding Welby’s ‘robust’ speaking out in defence of Christians persecuted in many of the Islamic nations…”

      Islamic nations are no longer run by Muslims, but Marxists feigning being Muslim, as in the West. And it is the Marxist co-opted West that’s allowing their pretend Muslim Marxists colleagues they place into power to persecute Christians.

  • English Aborigine

    Thank Heavens for Justin Welby

    It’s early days

    Let’s wait and see shall we

  • polistra24

    Thanks for verifying that Miss Justine is a tool of Satan.

  • John R

    The COE is corrupt and full of the occult as are most and with TBN making a play for air time on THE ONE EYE MONSTER, the “faithful” will have it cut out to open their wallets, churches and cheque books to feed the system.

  • Michael Lynch

    You would think this Lying Scumbag would have enough to do sorting out the Child Abusers And Perverts in the Stinking Club He Boss of, This useless scumbag does not speak for Me, And if there is a God this tosser does not speak for him either….

  • Rhys

    Justin Welby’s business is sin, and he should confine his activities to that theatre of operations. (with acknowledgements to Gregory Peck)

  • jesseventura2

    Yes but where is he on cottaging and dogging and Tony the phony Blair removing the rest room/toilet cops?

  • thomasaikenhead

    A fascinating article about a real leader who is actually doing something positive in the Uk.

    What a stunning contrast to the LibLabCon politicians!

  • Alison Lavinia Houston

    On the 18th of November the Church of England Synod will be addressed for the first time by a non Christian, can you guess to which faith the speaker belongs and at which end of the spectrum of intolerance towards women and homosexuals his views lie, and to which banned organisation he is affiliated? Of course all those persecuted Christians in the Middle East, the ones who used until recently to pray at the church on the site of the Armenian holocaust for example, recently blown to bits, will be so glad that the followers of Christ are listening to the words of the Devil and turning their collective cheek on behalf of the smited. Thank God for Justin Welby!

  • LaurenceBoyce

    What a fatuous piece, one where the conclusions have clearly been written in advance, and then the facts made to fit. (Damian surely?)

    So Welby knows a bit about finance. Big deal. Whatever happened to saving souls for Jesus? Clearly that is too embarrassing to mention these days, as it should be.

    I’m afraid Welby is the emptiest of empty vessels. A career as an oil man can’t save that.

  • Whyshouldihavetoregister

    “Bankers are not evil, he said of his highly successful time serving on
    the banking commission, they just made a classic and unsophisticated
    error of borrowing short and lending long.” This is a definition of what banks do. If Welby thinks anything else, you have no reason to admire his understanding of banking.

    • Terry Field

      Oh God, it is such pitiful crap I can hardly keep awake. Banks lend. Individuals borrow. Governments (of the Brown corporate-state type) de-industrialise, and then manufacture false living standards for the vast hordes of cretinuos, corrupted voting-proles based on debt issue and false banking gains from 40-50 x deposits borrowed from the Chinese and the towel-heads.
      Bit don’t let reality get in the way, Bish old cocker.
      I assume the God-Cone gives him digital reception from the Almighty?
      So what is the message?
      Thought so.

  • Higgs Boatswain

    This article is a bizarre caricature not of the present Archbishop but of his predecessor. It is lazy and ignorant in its characterisation of Rowan Williams’ tenure as archbishop, and in fact ignores the huge amount that Williams and Welby have in common (Williams, for instance, was no less outspoken in talking about the persecution of Christians in the world than his successor, despite the apparent belief of the Spectator to the contrary). The main difference between them is one of tone rather than substance, and the fact that Welby is, if perhaps a less profound and adventurous thinker, a much clearer communicator than Rowan Williams was.

    To try and draw some striking contrast between Williams and Welby – as indeed between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis – is the product of prejudice on the one hand and wishful thinking on the other. More than anything, perhaps, it is a reflection of how poorly the secular media really understands the Church and the nature of its relationship with secular power. The Spectator clearly did not understand Rowan Wiliams, but it seems that it does not understand Justin Welby either.

  • Thomtids

    Look. Welby got the job because he was from the Establishment. He had actually had a “real ” life before wanting to do something useful. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so much God who directed him to the Archbishopric but Dissembling Dave who perceived that he could be useful to the Metropolitan Homosexual Elite.
    Unfortunately, Welby now believes that his tole is to detach Anglicanism from religious content and a fortiori the Royal Family; it is now a cross between a Social service and a cut-price food bank operator. At least the communist Loonie before him had some “Religion” in him even though it was more Druidic than Anglican.

  • One Knee at a Time

    The proper position for people of faith is on the cutting edge of social change. We’ve spent 50+ years studying and serving for social reform on three continents.

    • Terry Field


  • Dave Day

    Interesting how the Church is embroiled in something immoral, there is huge pressure largely from secularists to have reform, the Church finally jumps on board after an extended period of time (and usually some extended debates and ‘hand-wringing’ asking “what would Jesus do?”), they finally throw their weight behind the secularists after dragging their feet for so long, then claim to be leading the moral fight for the meek and downtrodden in society and the world in general!

    I’d like to see a bit more honesty about what the bible actually says with regards to morality and where our better moral decisions have actually come from historically (NOT the babble). Justin Welby seems to be a little fuzzy when it comes to both theology and history!

  • Terry Field

    In the context of a country now routinely described by all greater powers as being utterly irrelevant, and with a reduced, low-skill, low-capitalised, low-potential economy, a soggy ex-oilman with a God-Cone on his head is as pointless as all the other duds who want to ‘make a difference’ but who are at least 100 years too late.

  • Good job!