Pulpit to pub: ‘I think this is a society that needs help’

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By website-news on 16.12.2023

Pulpit to pub: ‘I think this is a society that needs help’

The Archbishop of Canterbury gave a talk in Edwards Bar in Cardiff on Saturday 13th December, based upon the question: ‘Can God mend a broken Britain?’

The discussion was organised by the group Solace, founded in 2007 by Wendy Sanderson of the Church Army, and Baptist minister James Karran. Their aim is to make the church more accessible to younger people, hence the location for this discussion.

The pub was certainly a different space for Dr Williams to talk within, compared to the cathedral pulpit; however the Archbishop seemed content to answer various questions on a brown sofa with an orange juice in hand.

Dr Williams, originally from Swansea, believes that we live in a ‘society that needs help’ and feels that ‘we look around for people to blame.’ He added: ‘we feel we are going down the tubes.’

He told the young group of around 50 listeners his thoughts when picking up a newspaper. He said that articles nowadays suggest ‘this is not a society that really likes itself.’

He said his faith tells him that God’s priority is to take people seriously and treat human beings like they are precious and valuable, and that this is how people should treat each other.

Questions were then allowed to be asked by the group, from ‘is the church sexist?’ to ‘what’s hell like and who’s going there?’

The Archbishop answered all questions enigmatically and fully and a 23 year old law student said “I thought he gave a really good insight into the church’s view on society.”

However, after discussing theological issues of the church for quite some time, he seemed surprised when one Christian put forward the question: ‘Who’s he voting for in the X Factor?’ It seems apparent that the head of the Church of England does not watch such a programme.

Christmas shoppers were given leaflets about the talk, and, not surprisingly, it was also advertised on Facebook.

Dr Williams concluded: “So, broken Britain not in the sense that actually everything is breaking up and going to the dogs. But that’s how people feel and how people feel is a big fact about how they behave and interact.”

He believes that we can only react to such a problem once such feelings are addressed.


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