Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, told church leaders last week at a New Wine conference, “I believe from the bottom of my heart that the long years of winter in the Church — especially in the Church of England — are changing … The ice is thawing; the spring is coming. There is a new spring in the Church.”
He began his speech, however, by suggesting that the world was seeing a time of deep insecurity and uncertainty — the worst since the end of the Cold War, or even the tumult of the 1930s.
Everyone was tempted to look for strong leaders in times of turmoil, he said. “We are seeing powerful figures rise who claim to be the ones to make their nation great again. Trump that if you want,” he joked.
Addendum. Welby’s full address is posted here. An extract:
… But there is an economic and political uncertainty, I want to suggest now, that we have not seen since 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell – and then before that really since the 1930s and the rise of fascism, the rise of Communism, the depths of what Philip Bobbitt, in an amazing book called The Shield of Achilles, describes as ‘the long war’ from 1914 to 1989.
… We are seeing powerful figures rise who claim to be the ones to make their nation great again. Trump that if you will [laughter]. But if you look at what is coming out of some of these figures… it is a desire to make the world certain, from their own point of view. And we know, you know, I know, there is only one certainty in the world and that is Jesus Christ. There is no one else who is certain. If we put our hope in princes or elections or whatever, we will be betrayed. It’s because people are human. It’s not a comment on politicians. The ones I have the blessing of meeting are in the vast majority people of great honour and integrity doing incredibly difficult jobs. But we know that they’re human.