Desert Island Discs2c
Church of England

Welby loves Wimba Way

 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was Kirsty Young’s castaway guest on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs today, and his narration of fascinating biographical anecdotes with intermittent spiritual reflection was as illuminating as his choice in music.

It was disappointing that he didn’t choose to be shipwrecked with the Book of Common Prayer (1662), in order that he might spend his marooned months reflecting on sound Christian theology and meditating on the precepts of God and the distinctness of Anglican identity (he chose Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which is sure to pass away a few hours). But he spoke movingly about his emotionally turbulent upbringing, his alcoholic father, his loneliness as a child one Christmas while his father (“an aspiring Tory politician”) lay asleep and drunk in bed. The young Justin “scrounged around the fridge for something to eat,” he said. “It was a grim day.”

And he told us of the pain of his parents’ divorce when he was just three years old, the misery of living in poverty, and the time he cried with Winston Churchill: “I remember a very, very old man,” he said. “And he cried, I don’t know why. And because he cried, I cried. And then we sat and had tea.”

Archbishop Justin spoke about the nature of Divine love, the grace of God, the wonder of Jesus and the glories of the Church of England. “When the church is working it is the most mind-bogglingly, amazingly, extraordinarily beautiful community on earth. It heals, it transforms, it loves, and it changes society,” he enthused. He spoke about prayer, engaging with Jesus, enjoying His presence and the “pulling teeth” agony of having to select just eight pieces of music from the sublime repertoire of sacred music and transcendent classical greats.. from which he brought us:

‘In the Jungle’ (aka ‘Wimba Way’), which he says is a “family joke”. The Lion sleeps tonight? Not The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, one presumes. Then came Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, the ‘Pastoral’, which reminds him of childhood safety, security and idyl. And then Tavener’s glorious ‘God is with us’ – “It says everything: it’s breaking into the darkness,” the Archbishop said.

Then there was a South Sudanese song, because Africa had and continues to have an enormous impact on his life. They sing of  “their faith, trust, and joy in God in the midst of absolute horror”. Matt and Beth Redman’s ‘Blessed Be Your Name’ brought an injection of contemporary worship, followed by a piece which reminded him of the time he was invited to become Dean of Liverpool and he recalled hearing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’: it brings to his memory a “lively, humorous city” healing the wounds of Hillsborough. Then he chose the work commissioned from composer Michael Berkeley for his installation as Archbishop of Canterbury, based on the the Rule of St Benedict. And finally, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem – a passionately powerful piece exhorting pacifism with the poetry of Wilfred Owen – he says it’s his “favourite bit of music in the world”.

Archbishop Justin spoke movingly of the horrors of religious and ethnic conflict, and of standing before mass graves of unbearable suffering. His responsibilities weigh heavily on him, but his fortitude, patience and wisdom were observed by his Eton housemaster who clearly recognised something in the boy. He knew nothing but pain, but “it’s what happens in life… Norfolk was wonderful; London was usually a bit complicated.”

We learned that Eton Chapel had “not a lot” of impact on him, and Church “washed over” him as a child. He loved his time in Cambridge, where he met his wife, Caroline, and experienced a moment of conversion – “It just made sense, and it brought together all the things I’ve heard and experienced… Christ came into my life,” he said. And, voice breaking, he told us of the tragic loss of his daughter Johanna. He never tries to give answers to such imponderable traumas, except to point to the Cross. He imagines eternity with difficulty, except to say: “There is nothing that is not good in it.”

The Archbishop exhorted the virtues of honesty and humility, and repudiated ‘holier than thou’ judgmental piety. He spoke of the need for compassion in the context of personal failure and sin, and told us that he doesn’t feel up to the task of being Archbishop any more now than he did when he first wrote his application (which he was instructed to do). We glimpse his spirituality and glean his priorities. There is nothing more important to him than prayer and reading the Bible. “Evangelism,” he says, “is a church word for seeking to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with people.” His mission is to speak of God’s love, and to be confident in light and love of Christ.

His ‘luxury item’ was the complete boxed set of The West Wing.

How does the BBC report all this? Why, ‘gay marriage‘, of course.

Isn’t ‘Welby loves Wimba Way’ sufficiently captivating?

  • Uncle Brian

    The most sensible comment I’ve heard about a Desert Island Discs book choice is that it ought to be a very long book, and one you’ve never read before. The Book of Common Prayer isn’t very long , and it would be a pretty safe bet that Archbishop Welby has already read it.

    • CliveM

      He could probably study it from memory!

      • Dominic Stockford

        I doubt it.

  • grutchyngfysch

    “The Lion sleeps tonight? Not The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, one presumes.”

    Now that I think about it, isn’t that just a perfectly fitting song for the Church in the West at the present moment whether it’s sung of the Lion of Judah or the hungry lion prowling outside.

    “Hush my darling, don’t fear my darling
    The Lion sleeps tonight”

    I wonder how many hearts will sing those words the night the Lord returns?

    • Dominic Stockford

      “…prowling about like a hungry lion looking for someone to eat…”

  • Andrew Denny

    To be fair, BBC News does not review Desert Island Discs. What it does is look for statements from public figures on matters of public interest or importance.
    The fact that Justin Welby likes Wimoweh is not really news.

    • dannybhoy

      I like Wimoweh too.
      But the Karl Denver version rather than The Tokens

      • sarky

        Gotta be ‘tight fit’.

        • dannybhoy

          Are they presbyterians?

          • CliveM

            Dannybhoy and what do you mean by that………………..?

          • dannybhoy

            Just checkin’ you’re awake.. ;)!

          • CliveM

            How u doin?

          • dannybhoy

            Well,
            after reading about Sam’s battle with his 60 inch waist, I realised how small my own problems are…
            I had an x-ray Tuesday, got more tests tomorrow, had three lots of auntibiotics plus prednisolone. Been out of outdoors action for a month, but overall I think things are getting better!

            Poor Sam…..

          • Sam

            I’m fine. Sixty inch waste? Dude there’s something I’ve got that approaches that figure. But it ain’t my waste!

          • dannybhoy

            Now now,
            Don’t forget this is a Christian blog. We only do gentle leg pulling, name calling and the occasional theological bloodbath here.
            Nothing medical Sam. Apart from sickies like me.
            You go elsewhere to get that nose candle removed….

          • Sam

            I agree, i shall go elsewhere. Mine was just fleeting visit anyway. I shall leave you to discuss matters on this Christian blog.

          • dannybhoy

            “We only do gentle leg pulling, name calling and the occasional theological bloodbath here.”

            That was me trying to be funny.

            “You go elsewhere to get that nose candle removed…”
            That was in reference to your length thing, and obviously didn’t work as intended..

          • dannybhoy

            Waste?
            Ewwwwwwwh, gross!

          • Sam

            Punning isn’t your forte I see

          • dannybhoy

            You’re right Sam, I’m not very good at it! Apologies for anything that didn’t come across well…

          • CliveM

            Dear oh dear, lol!

          • CliveM

            Well I hope you improve soon. Hope the tests go well. Sam seems a bit outraged!! And boastful!!!

          • DanJ0

            I laughed.

  • Phil R

    African Anglicans have stated that it was his and Williams tolerance to homosexuailty that was responsible for putting their loved ones in those mass graves he mentions

    No wonder he was sad. How does he sleep at night he should have been asked

    • Shadrach Fire

      He might even save the souls of some Gays.

      • Phil R

        Absolutely.

        Love is not “I agree with whatever you want to do”

        Perhaps the CofE should be sponsored by Nike they have the same slogan. …”Just do it”

  • carl jacobs

    Beethoven wrote nine symphonies – eight of which are worthy of his name. And then there is the Sixth. Can anything given the title ‘Pastoral’ by worth the effort to listen? Shepherds in a field. A spring rain. An empty vessel of dullness. There’s not an ounce of human blood remaining in its entire lifeless corpse. Welby could have picked the Third or the Fifth or the Ninth or (especially) the Seventh – Beethoven’s best. But he chooses the Sixth? Incredible.

    Yes, you know Beethoven Seventh. It’s the Easter Beagle Symphony.

    Wishing everyone a belated Happy Beethoven’s Birthday, December 17th.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I am staggered by how many people don’t like the 6th. Maybe I find something in it others don’t. And the bloke only wrote 9, please don’t wipe out 11% of his oeuvre.

      • carl jacobs

        If I had to explain why, I would say that the Sixth is completely devoid of pathos. There is no substance to it. The emotional struggle that makes Beethoven so engaging is simply not present. But that’s rather the point a pastoral – the absence of emotional struggle. It just doesn’t fit with Beethoven.

        • Dominic Stockford

          I think I can now understand your perception of it. Though I don’t share it. Overall I prefer Dmitri anyway!

          • carl jacobs

            If I had to pick one Symphony, I would have picked Gorecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. It’s both haunting and transfixing.

          • Lol …. you do like sad, dark and sombre.

            Jack enjoys the “Happi Song”.

          • carl jacobs

            Well… I like Mozart’s Requiem as well and that isn’t ‘sad, dark, and somber.’ It’s only MOSTLY sad dark and somber.

          • Jack enjoys that too. Ah, but would you play it at your daughter’s 7th birthday party?

          • Bach’s Mass in B minor is right up there, Carl. And it’s got everything. Wonderful.

          • CliveM

            Again agreed. To be honest almost all things Back as far as I’m concerned.

        • Perhaps struggle isn’t all there is to it 24/7.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            You are correct. There is also Glorious and Majestic. Like “Worthy is the Lamb” from Messiah or the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth or “Great Gates of Kiev.”

          • Beethoven’s Ninth, 4th movement, is something else. Surprised you like this given its association with universal brotherhood and protest. It is stirring.

            As for ‘Great Gates of Kiev’, in Jack’s opinion, not one of ELP’s best.

          • carl jacobs

            “Great Gates of Kiev” by Modest Mussorgsky.

          • Lol … yes, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            You see … this is what happens when I give you the benefit of the doubt.

          • lOL … Jack was just testing your irony perception quotient.

          • carl jacobs

            Yeah, I realize. The problem was that your comment was completely believable. So it wasn’t a fair test.

          • Then lodge an objection with IPQ verifiers.

          • carl jacobs

            Hrmmm. Let me guess. The IPQ verifier would be …you. And you are the one who rigged the test to elicit a pre-determined outcome. I see how this game is played.

          • Grasshopper – you tried to quickly grasp the irony stone. Embrace this as a valuable lesson.

          • carl jacobs

            And thus we arrive at the carefully prepared conclusion.

          • It was predestined, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, and I fell for it. My charitable nature is used against me.

          • Grasshopper – only because you have not yet fully integrated your poetic, artistic, charitable nature into your being. We must now work on the uncharitable aspects of your nature that are blocking this. This will prove more difficult.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            Let me see now. 39 vs 32. Everything seems right with that. The world is properly ordered.

          • Enlightenment isn’t a competition, Grasshopper

          • carl jacobs

            Heh. So which would you rather have right now, Jack. Enlightenment or seven points?

          • Enlightenment every time, Carl.
            (That’s worth at least 10 points, btw)

        • Cressida de Nova

          Actually this is like a Peter Cook parody of some puffed up self important authority talking with conviction about a subject that he knows nothing about…..Hilarious !

    • Uncle Brian

      The odd numbered symphonies beat the even numbers. In the mid-twentieth century, as I recall, that was what people used to say.

      • carl jacobs

        One and Two were pretty formulaic. He broke the Symphonic mould with Three. Four and Eight are OK if not entirely memorable. Three, Five, Seven, and Nine are Beethoven’s masterpieces. But Six? What can you say? It just sounds… French.

        • IanCad

          Let me jump in here.
          The Sixth is really a series of tone poems. Sure, there is not the depth as in the other symphonies; enjoy it for what it is – a rustic portrait.

        • Cressida de Nova

          You are making a fool of yourself. The Pastoral symphony sounds French ? You obviously have no understanding of musicology whatsoever. Stick to what you know….making bombs for the army or whatever !

          • carl jacobs

            Dearest Cruella de Ville

            If I may correct your misunerstanding of the English language.

            French adjective 1. Weak 2. Gutless. 3. Lacking intestinal fortitude.

            You may return to collecting Dalmatian puppies now.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Time and time again you resolve not to interact with me. Weak weak man. The American Army needs to place more emphasis on self discipline and self control in their programs. I am not suprprised the wars you are conducting are not successful. If this comment upsets you…, you can always go to a childrens playground and indulge yourself in a random shooting. Before Christmas is always a good time in a gun culture…the American way…n’est-ce pas !

  • Dominic Stockford

    The real issue is that when asked Welby failed to stand up for the church of england’s official position on a significant matter of Biblical teaching. He is the ABC, he should at least have briefly supported it. That he cannot is a sign that once again he will be compromising teaching for popularity.

    Welby chooses to worry about popularity rather than stand for truth.
    Jesus chose to go to the cross rather than worry about popularity.
    Spot the difference.

    • dannybhoy

      I do agree that knowing about a person’s background tempers our opinion of them.
      My problem is that sooner or later we are called to stand up for what we believe. If called to a position of Christian leadership our responsibility is to seek God’s grace to fulfil that role.
      This is the big problem for the Church of England. She is trying to serve two masters, and it can’t be done.

  • Inspector General

    Do you think when Churchill looked at him and cried, he had a premonition :->

  • A good piece, Archbishop. Jack enjoyed reading it. He feels he knows a little more about Justin.

    • CliveM

      Agreed. I have to admit the more I hear of him, the more impressed I am. Not perfect ( who is?) but someone with a genuine love of God.

      • Yes. Jack, like others, would prefer it if he were more robust on certain issues but there seems little doubt about his sincerity.

    • Cressida de Nova

      I enjoyed it as well. He is a good person and means well. I just don’t understand why a person of that calibre knowing the scriptures makes the decisions that he does.

      • CliveM

        I also wonder if when you become a Priest in the CofE, they swap out your voice box with an official Priestly one!!

        He is a good man though.

  • ‘In the jungle, the mighty jungle
    The lion sleeps tonight.’

    It may possibly seem that way at times but, ‘He who watches over Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.’

  • IanCad

    Tuned in a bit late – some modern forgetable song – didn’t get much better after that.

    But! What on earth would an AofC find remotely edifying in an American soap opera? (West Wing)

    I will confess right now that, not owning a TV, I have never watched it. Can’t imagine much spiritual enlightenment coming from a steady diet of corruption, chicanery and lying. If indeed the show is a true reflection of the politics of today.

    Reviewing the choices of previous AC’s who have been on the show I see a sad decline in the selections of Welby.

    Not only frivilous in his selection of such a low piece of common entertainment, he further displays a sense of entitlement in that, in order to watch such tripe, a TV, a source of power, and a comfy chair would be required to enjoy his choice.

    No such courtesies were granted those other men of God.

    Rowan Williams requested a piano.

    Dr. George Carey was pushing it a bit when he asked for a computer.

    Robert Runcie was content with a rocking chair.

    As evidence of his extreme modesty and politeness Dr.Jonathan Sacks merely requested lots of pencils.

    • “I will confess right now that, not owning a TV, I have never watched it. Can’t imagine much spiritual enlightenment coming from a steady diet of corruption, chicanery and lying. If indeed the show is a true reflection of the politics of today.”

      Christians have to know the ways of the world.

      • IanCad

        Jack,
        We have The Word to apprise us of that.

        • Yes, but we are called to be as wise as serpents as well as pure as doves. One needs to know what’s going on in 2014, where the levers of power are and how they work, and then apply biblical principles to our actions.

          • IanCad

            There is nothing new under the sun.

          • Hmmm …. weblogs?

          • IanCad

            Not getting it Jack.

          • New under the sun … so are iPhones.

          • Sam

            What about the “wireless” ?

          • The Sopranos is worth a watch too.

  • As someone else who has lost a child, it wasn’t lost on me that the one disc of the eight he would save is “Blessed Be Your Name”. Clearly the loss of Joanna and his changed relationship with God afterwards has been *the* most spiritual event of his life. If you want to understand Justin, understand this.

    • IanCad

      I did not realize the personal significance that song had for him.
      My sympathies to you both.

    • Phil R

      If so he should take action now and apologise to our fellow Anglicans in Africa for the suffering we have indirectly caused by ignoring their pleas and warnings on the dangers they were being put by the CofE and other Western Anglican’s discussion and stance on homosexuality etc

  • Sam

    I’m at a loss as to WHY some Christian people attack welby: with his philosophic perspective, he reminds me of some of our Rabbis and Rebbes.

    • Merchantman

      I agree with you. I heard it on the radio this morning and was particularly struck by his conversion experience making sense of all the things he had heard and experienced. The belt of truth bringing it together and setting free.

    • Inspector General

      Welby has presided over SSM and women bishops. Of course, you could say that’s just damn hard luck it happening during his watch, but did he threaten to resign over any of it or even throw a bit of AoC weight around ?

      One also feels he hasn’t finished yet…

      Cosmo Lang had just as bad problems with an abdication but one notes he was widely respected and came out of it smelling of roses. AND they say he was as bent as a nine bob note.

      • Sam

        So it’s all about gays?

        • Inspector General

          No it’s not. Cosmo Lang has this man’s eternal admiration and appreciation for what he did, and also for being able to hold high office without letting his inherent nature get the better of him. Would that have continued to be the case after his time, but an on going enquiry into certain statesmen shows that not to have been the case.

          • Sam

            Whatever floats that boat of yours.

          • Inspector General

            It’s no disrespect to your sister. The UK is under two threats at the moment. One is Islam and the other is rampant male homosexual hegemony. And not necessarily in that order…

          • … and both are symptoms of a deeper set of threats.

        • dannybhoy

          As well as Inspector’s comment, no it’s not all about gays Sam.
          It’s about what it means to be the Head of the State Church of England, and how far you go in fitting in with the world’s values.
          Christianity – true Christianity is a serious business, and those that publicly represent the faith will receive both praise where its due and criticism if necessary.
          Jonathan Sacks stood up for British Jewry with dignity and integrity, and we Christians expect our leaders to take their roles no less seriously.

          • DanJ0

            This is why the CofE really needs to be dis-established. It’s not fair on everybody that it continues.

    • Phil R

      Because it seems the unity of the Anglican communion is more important to Welby than the deaths of a few thousand poor and Orthodox Anglicans in Africa

      • Sam

        Phil

        Jesus, what??? Oh never mind. I will never understand Christianity or half the people who comment on this blog. Mine’s a double malt on the rocks…

        • carl jacobs

          Muslims in Africa use western approval of homosexuality in western Anglican churches to tar African Anglican Christians. It has led to persecution and murder. Welby has talked about this reality.

          • Sam

            I see. Thanks for he explanation .

        • Phil R

          So why comment on a Christian blog?

          • carl jacobs

            Why shouldn’t he comment? This blog isn’t exclusively for Christians. And don’t blame him for not understanding. Help him to understand.

          • Phil R

            Fair point. Apologies are posted

          • Sam

            Phil, Dude, fair question and you are correct in this presumably rhetorical question. I have no right to come here and criticise another’s faith or question it and that was the conclusion of my brother and sister and my bashert. I apologise and will leave you all to your Christian discussions. I am still at a loss as to understanding Christianity, but such is life and I guess it really isn’t relevant because as a non Christian I really don’t need to know about Christianity anyway.

            Regards Sam

          • Phil R

            Apologies Sam I wrote before. I thought

            please continue to comment . Many other Jews do so on this Blog

          • Sam

            Dude,

            Ah, okay I understand.

            I’ll be on an off commenting: Tuesday night we’re in Gibraltar….

            The thing is I don’t disagree with much of the commentary here, but it’s like if guy has a slight deviation from orthodoxy you are branded as such e.g. when you were laughably called socialist the other day: my brother “Victorian dad”David is called liberal, even though he’s one step away from ultra orthodox Judaism. There’s a “je ne sais quoi” to the comments here that mystifies e.g. as critical as I am am about rabbis , I’m tame compared to what’s said about Francis or welby: it’s not the substance of the issues, but something else. That’s part of what my family and friends struggle with.

          • Phil R

            Your Rabbis would not I suspect fail to act if thousands of Jews were been killed and they could easily do something about it.

            Welby is weak and this makes it dangerous for Anglicans in many parts of the world. He is weaker than Williams and that is saying something!

          • Dude Jnr – when you don’t understand, just ask. Simple questions from an ‘outsider’ are often the most difficult to answer.

          • dannybhoy

            As Jack says below, please ask! If you feel we’re being hypocritical or disloyal as with Justin Welby, say so. We’re really not that different to you Sam, and you know yourself that there is real disagreement between the various expressions of Judaism…

          • DanJ0

            You have no right per se but as I understand it the blog owner encourages reasoned debate below the articles, and believes passionately in free speech subject of course to the usual restrictions.

        • Martin

          Sam

          Jesus is the point, your rejected Messiah whose gospel Welby seems unable to communicate. He is what he was, a company executive, nothing more.

          • Sam

            I haven’t rejected Messiah because Messiah hasn’t come yet.

          • len

            If Yeshua is not the messiah then there can be no Messiah because the prophecies He fulfilled can no longer be fulfilled

          • Martin

            Sam

            Pretty good evidence that you have rejected your Messiah.

        • dannybhoy

          Sam,
          It’s not that different really. We just have different reference points, and some denominations see their roles as keeping orthodoxy as they see it. I hope that you would recognise for example that there is a great difference between Rabbinical Judaism since the loss of the Temple and more traditional Judaism prior to that time?
          Just so in Christianity people like myself are more concerned with the intentions of the heart than outward orthodoxy.
          If I wanted a reasoned comment on a theological matter there are folk like Martin, Jack or Carl and others I could ask, and there are folk more like myself who will probably understand my own approach to faith.
          It’s good that you and sometimes Hannah comment here. I hope we’ll hear again from Avi Barzel so’s I can apologise to him personally.

          • avi barzel

            No need for you to apologize to me, old boy.

          • dannybhoy

            Well yes there is actually. I was rude, hasty and insensitive in my response to you, and I do most sincerely ask your pardon.

          • avi barzel

            Interesting. Can’t say I don’t enjoy being apologized to….my family never does… but I’ve not been around for weeks!

          • dannybhoy

            Around your family or blogs?

          • avi barzel

            Ha! Blogs. But family is mostly away. Just me hiding from my teenage daughter who, with the sharp instinct of teens, discovered that Dad is all bluster, but a helpless pushover on his own and with stern instructions from wife to keep hallways and emergency exits from being blocked by accumulating trash and to make sure Missy doesn’t get scurvy from her diet of pizzas and cupcakes. She had ketchup with her fries yesterday; ketchup is a vegetable, isn’t it?

          • dannybhoy

            Yup, ketchup is one of the essential ‘five a day.’
            I love pizza but anointed with hot pepper sauce, and pepper sauce as everyone knows is very good for you..
            For some reason your little story reminds me of one of Adam Sandler’s best films “Reign over Me”. Ever see it?

            So how did your Hannukah go?

          • avi barzel

            Hanukkah? Great as always. One of the least tactically demanding festivals; no special feasts or strict limitations, traditional donuts if you want them and loose candle lighting times. A pleasant commemorative gift after the intensity of the High Holy Days.

            Never saw the Sandler movie…I never watch comedies. No, scratch that; last night my 13 year-old tyrant instituted Father-Daughter Time and made me watch Guess Who (a cheesy remake of Guess Who is Coming to Dinner) with her. I conked out halfway through, Missy noted the spot, and will expect me to watch the rest.

            Busy hours ahead for me, so let me wish you and yours…and others who may read this…a merry Christmas!

          • dannybhoy

            ” I conked out halfway through..” is a very English expression. Did you perhaps emigrate?
            “Reign over Me” is interesting precisely because it is not a comedy, but a rather tragic story about a dentist who lost his family in 9/11.
            I shall say no more, except to say it showed another side of Sandler.
            “Missy noted the spot, and will expect me to watch the rest…”
            Your daughter is obviously trying to tell you something -or even worse, prepare you for something…. 🙂
            Thank you for your good wishes Avi
            Brachim Ravim alkha v’hamishpacha.
            Danny

          • avi barzel

            Thank you and blessings to your mishpacha as well. You might have a point there, Danny. Daughter trying to tell me something. She’s been hanging around visiting Ethiopian Israeli kids lately and likes their ways. She can sense that not everyone in the community, especually the older, less religious crowd, treats them as our own. Perhaps she hopes to meet and marry a boy from that community one day? Yet she already knows our strict “racial” rules; as long as the boy is observant Jewish, of good character, loving and responsible, she’ll have our full blessings no matter if he’s pink, black or purple. More so even, as they’ll have a heavier load to bear.

          • dannybhoy

            I am old fashioned and think we should cling to our own. I sometimes think mixed marriages are more an expression of youthful independence and idealism than love,,
            but perhaps that’s the cynic in me.
            Marriage is a lifelong relationship. The more you have in common the more there is to bind you together and provide conversation! The novelty of “other” wears off soon enough, and means one partner will have to give way to the other.

          • avi barzel

            Except that a marriage between two observant, but differently pigmented Jews is not a mixed marriage….neither socially nor religiously. My centrist Orthodox shul has an unusually numerous assembly of racially mixed Jews and many converts. My own wife is a convert of Anglican and (old time) Presbyterian, Welsh and Scots backgrounds. No unusual or outstanding challenges…until you try making kosher haggis from scratch for Robbie Burns Night and screw it up every time. We all go through the fight-and-make-up cycles like everyone else, and community-wise our divorce rate is minimal; certainly way lower than the national average and I think lower than even most Orthodox communities. Marriage is always a grand challenge, but in our context and immediate community, racial and even social differences are not among the problems.

          • dannybhoy

            “We all go through the fight-and-make-up cycles like everyone else, and community-wise our divorce rate is minimal; certainly way lower than the national average and I think lower than even most Orthodox communities.
            Marriage is always a grand challenge, but in our context and immediate community, racial and even social differences are not among the problems.”

            This is one of the things I admire about Judaism. Although a divorcee myself it was not of my choosing and I believe the ideal is for keeps. A shared faith, a shared background, compatible personalities go a long way towards ensuring an enduring relationship.

        • CliveM

          Sam

          I don’t understand half of them either!

  • Albert

    Thank you. Having missed the programme, I enjoyed this article. Is it possible to install a “vote up” button for posts, as well as for comments?

    • Anna055

      You can still hear it on the BBC website (On Archbishop of canterbury website, click “articles/interviews” tab at the side; go to the desert island discs article and then follow the link “on BBC i player” in the text below the photo)

      • Albert

        Thank you Anna.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Your Grace,
    I wish knew what was going on in Welby’s mind. We know he is a born again Christian but he has to be a politician as well. Is he just marking time for a later uprising or is this really him in all his compromising beliefs?

  • Doctor Crackles

    Pretty sad stuff this from Welby.

    “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:19

  • len

    It may be through moments of personal trauma that we find God or sometimes the reverse is true and we blame God for whatever is afflicting us .I have done both.
    I suppose Welby is trying to find some means of uniting his fragmenting church as the forces of ‘this world system’ are battering the doors (not an enviable position to be in)
    But I feel that if a stand is not made then the World will swamp what remains of Biblical Truth in the church and it will cease to be salt and Light and get trampled underfoot as the Word of God states.

    • dannybhoy

      Very well said Len.

    • dannybhoy

      (Watchman I haven’t forgotten about that other comment!)