The revealing reaction to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s bold speech about social justice

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
Afroze Fatima Zaidi

Speaking at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) 2018 Conference, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has addressed a range of social justice issues. In an impassioned speech, he remarked on food banks, worker exploitation and tax evasion by corporations like Amazon:

High praise

The Archbishop has been widely praised for his bold stance, particularly against exploitative multi-billion dollar companies. And his views have been appreciated in the UK as well as across the pond:


However, it later emerged the Church of England has large investments in Amazon. Moreover, it employs people on zero-hour contracts, a practice criticised in the Archbishop’s speech. Charges of hypocrisy have therefore been levelled against the Archbishop:

The Archbishop and the Rabbi

But regardless of the Archbishop’s integrity, people have called out another double standard. Many compared the response to his comments versus those of also controversial Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. It appears both the Conservatives and the media reacted differently to the two religious leaders:

Tories under fire

As The Canary previously reported, Conservative MP Ben Bradley criticised the Archbishop’s speech:

Since then, Conservatives have come under fire for suggesting religion is removed from the concerns of society at large:

Religion and politics

The Archbishop’s speech has certainly made an impact. If nothing else, it has started a dialogue about the relevance of politics in religion, and vice versa. And of course, about the role religious leaders can play in the fight for social justice.

While the Church of England may need to get its house in order, that doesn’t mean we can’t ask for more of the same from prominent religious leaders in the UK.

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Featured image via Flickr/ Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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Afroze Fatima Zaidi