His Eminence The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury: The only people who are entitled to kick the ball are those who are on the pitch


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Text: Adrian Kranjčević

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, gives blessings to the Sovereign of the UK and this makes him astoundingly important. He became the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2013 and has worked extensively in the field of reconciliation. Archbishop has three main priorities for his ministry – Evangelism and Witness; Prayer and the Renewal of Religious life; and Reconciliation. His book “Reimagining Britain- Foundations of Hope”, a kind of Christian perspective manifesto on the future life of Great Britain and its people, was published in March and in June he was a keynote speaker at the Novi Sad Conference too.

1. You have written a book „Reimagining Britain – Foundations for Hope“. What sort of concepts and principles are proposed in the book and what is „Re“ in the image of Britain according to Your point of view?

In writing „Reimagining Britain – Foundations of Hope“ I’ve tried to make a personal contribution to the challenge I believe lies before us: reimagining our future at the critical time in the life of our country. It’s my belief that the values we find in our Christian heritage – compassion, generosity, solidarity, to name a few – offer a source of hope and wisdom for Britain in the 21st century, even if we rightly embrace who we are becoming as a multi-faith and multi-cultural society. The essential principle is that there are three particular principles: Around community and what binds us together, around courage and what drives us forward with aspiration and around resilience and what keeps us going when there are problems. The book asks fundamental questions about the kind of society we want to be in 10 to 20 years’ time. These are everyday questions that matter to ordinary people across our parishes in the Church of England – on education, health, housing, the family, the economy, the world around us, the environment and more. It’s about how we might identify and develop the values to help us reimagine a more hopeful future – drawing on the Bible, Britain’s history and its Christian tradition.

It’s not a complete list, and it certainly doesn’t try to set out any kind of political programme. Instead it’s a contribution – from a distinctly Christian perspective – to the widespread, urgent and exciting debates happening all around us.

2. What is Your oppinion about Brexit than?

We voted it in the UK. We voted it, not in huge majority, but clearly to leave EU. It is an encouragement that the vote has carried out. That is already an encouragement, that speaks to, I think all the generations… First, get involved… To use the phrase that maybe will be used a lot in next few weeks, the only people who are entitled to kick the ball are those who are on the pitch. If you are not voting, you don’t count. Second, unity with other human beings is the call of God in Jesus Christ. It is not set by politicians and treaties. It is far more profound than that. Find what we do to serve the needs of our World and look to the love of God in Christ to inspire you to do so and make any sacrifice that is called that will improve the common goal, because in doing so we will build a new World. I refer myself to the wonderful sermon of Bishop Michael Curry at The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, a couple weeks ago, actually fifteen days ago. There was an extraordinary sermon, unlike any other sermons I heard at The Royal event. He spoke about the power of love and quoted Dr Martin Luther King in speaking of the power of love to take an old world and make it new. That is an inspiration we have to follow.

3. Jesus Christ has said: „Querite et Invenietis“ or „Seek and find“. Do we seek for God today and do we find Him in our neighbour and does God seek us even if we do not seek for Him today?

There’s a wonderful story in St. Luke’s Gospel called „The story of a good Shepherd”which tells us that the nature of God is to go and seek for the lost. It is our call as human beings to turn to Him and let Him find us and then live in obedience to Him through Jesus Christ and in doing that we find our true purpose as human beings, we find love for one another and our eternal home and hope as human beings. We like the Angels proclaim good news and, like the Shepherds, we receive good news. The good news is for all people, whatever their situation is in life. It is good news for politicians and leaders but is also good news for the refugees and displaced persons who continue to flee from danger and seek safety and sanctuary. As receivers of the good news we are called to pass on the good news and to make real the promise of that good news to those in need.


What is Your opinion about Her Royal Highness’s dedication to faith? Considering Your position, I suppose that you have the opportunity to speak with Her about the faith?

Her Majesty has shown the most extraordinary demonstration of a profound Christian faith over more than sixty six years as Queen and she speaks of it particularly clearly and with grace and eloquence each year in Her Christmas broadcast.

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