The head of the Church of England, while speaking to an international media outlet, voiced his concern about the direction the United Kingdom is travelling in. The Archbishop of Canterbury reportedly said that the tolerance for minority groups has decreased and homelessness has increased. He used his annual Christmas message to reflect on the state of the vulnerable people in the country and said that it has worsened over the last nine years. Archbishop Justin Welby also said that in the last decade rough sleeping, use of food banks and debt counselling services had also worsened.
While talking to the media, Welby responded to a range of questions, including whether atheists were welcome in Church and the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit. Welby in response said that the situation in the country has become worse, however, he also added that the country is not in a crisis but the direction of travel is not what he wants. He reportedly spoke about Labour MP Jo Cox' murder who was killed just days before the Brexit referendum.
When asked about the ongoing Prince Andrew controversy over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and whether the Royal Family should have to adhere to higher morals than the general public, Welby refused to answer and said that he will not be commenting on any member of the Royal Family. However, he said that he is astonished at what a gift they are to the country.
He concluded the interview with a Christmas message for the country. Archbishop Welby reportedly quoted the First Letter of John in the New Testament, which said that “perfect love casts out fear”. He further added, ''Don't fear. Deal with fear. In the New Testament, among the letters from John, it says 'perfect love casts out fear'. So love, don't fear. Because the kind of love that God shows is a love that doesn't expect return. That forgives failure. That loves people despite their ups and downs. That kind of love changes the world in a dramatic and wonderful way''.