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Rowan Williams: faith is not an ‘embarrassment’

By Tim Ross, Telegraph

Religion is too often seen as “a social problem” or an “embarrassment”, Rowan Williams suggests today, as he bows out after 10 years as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr Williams will use his final New Year’s message, to be broadcast this afternoon, to offer a vision of faith as the “wellspring of energy” driving selfless efforts to make society fairer.

The message follows a disclosure from one of Dr Williams’s closest colleagues that the Archbishop has been “deeply hurt” by the criticism he has received during his often controversial tenure.

In his broadcast, Dr Williams highlights the work of the Robes project in London, where more than 20 churches work together to offer food and shelter to the homeless.

“Religion here isn't a social problem or an old-fashioned embarrassment,” he says.

“It's a wellspring of energy and a source of life-giving vision for how people should be regarded and treated.

“So let's recognise this steady current of generosity that underlies so much of our life together in this country and indeed worldwide.

“It's all based on one vision – to make our society, our whole world, work for everyone, not just the comfortable and well off.”

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