If Welby can hold on to his emphasis on enabling ‘ordinary’ Christians, and those of their neighbours who are seeking a more just and compassionate world, he can offer the kind of leadership needed at a time when idols have been falling, says Savi Hensman, a long-standing commentator on Anglican affairs and church and society issues.
Every time that I think I can no longer be surprised by the behaviour of church institutions, I am proved wrong. Like many others, I was shocked to learn that a conference for arms dealers will take place in Church House. Thankfully, many Christians are still campaigning against the arms trade, militarism and cuts.
As we approach the first anniversary of the St Paul's protests it saddens Giles Fraser, former canon there, that the Church of England's reaction to Occupy was so reminiscent of its reaction to Chartism. In both cases, popular protest was dismissed as incoherent and unsuccessful, as the Archbishop of canterbury recently suggested about Occupy.
If a future Archbishop of Canterbury were outspoken in defence of church privilege or the right to discriminate or exploit, this could do more harm than good, writes Savi Hensman. It is also important not to expect one man, whatever his gifts and office, to substitute for the wider church community.
Yesterday evening, I was very pleased to take part in a debate on “Can capitalism be made good?” in Marlborough. I argued “no”, alongside Stewart Wallis from the New Economics Foundation. On the other side were Will Morris, chair of the CBI’s tax committee and Anglican priest, and Hugh Pym of the BBC. The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, presided.