THE Church should be a "movement of prayer" which creates
"collateral blessing", the Archbishop of Canterbury
(above) said on Monday night. He was speaking at New Wine,
a Charismatic Evangelical festival in Somerset, which he and his
family attended for 12 years when he was a parish priest.
"The US Army gave us the expression 'collateral damage', which
means killing people you did not mean to target," he said. "People
seeking Christ create collateral blessing. That means changing the
world for the better, in ways you could not have predicted."
Archbishop Welby continued: "There has never been a renewal of
the Church in Western Europe without a renewal of prayer and the
life of religious communities. Never. And if we want to see things
changed, it starts with prayer."
He said that he had been kept awake at night by a poll published
recently by YouGov, which suggested that more than half of people
under the age of 25 saw the Church as "completely irrelevant" (News, 28
June). "Opposition is one thing; indifference is far more
He received applause when he spoke of having voted against the
Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill (
News, 7 June,
19 July). During debate on the Bill, he "heard the roar of
revolution"; those who opposed it "were utterly crushed in the
voting again and again and again".
The Archbishop continued: "Let me be clear: popular opinion is
not a cause for changing obedience to God. But let me be equally
clear: an overwhelming change that affects the opinions of the
majority of people, and especially of younger people . . . is a
revolution to which we must pay attention."
He went on to say that the Church should not "pretend that . . .
our attitude to gay people has always been right. We have not loved
them as Christ loves us, and that is the benchmark."
Archbishop Welby also said that he was worried by "the
remorseless power of negative religion in this country. The more we
harp on the negative and fail to show love for one another and
Jesus Christ, to proclaim service to the poor . . . the more we
give in to those who oppose the gospel. . .
"We must be the people who show hope in the face of death,
steadfastness in suffering, because we overflow with the good news
of Jesus to those around us."
Listen to the Archbishop's talk here.