BRITAIN has "limitless" potential to be a "force for light and
hope" in a dark world, the Archbishop of Canterbury told MPs this
Preaching at the service for the new Parliament, at St
Margaret's, Westminster, on Tuesday, he told MPs and peers that he
prayed daily that they might find "the courage, the strength, and
the confidence to lead us into what we can be".
He said: "The nation in which we live, which we love and serve,
has within it at all levels a moral vision and hope. Its potential
in a world of darkness to be a force for light and hope is
Archbishop Welby emphasised his impartiality, and praised the
public service of parliamentarians. He spoke of members of his own
family who had fought and lost election campaigns - "on both sides,
I need to stress that".
In his interactions with the world of politics, he said, "almost
everyone I meet seeks to do what is right . . . and to serve their
country with integrity. Views to the contrary are mere descents
But he warned that "the best intentions can lead to the wrong
conclusions," and called for actions to be based on "eternal values
that do not change", including "a dedication to the flourishing of
the whole community."
Parliamentarians must practise "holy pragmatism", he suggested:
the "pragmatism of love without limit, of unconditional love that
reaches with generous, almost absurd grace to every person".
He assured those present that God was "greater than our greatest