The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he is concerned about the direction the UK is travelling in, citing an increase in homelessness and a decline in tolerance toward minority groups.
Justin Welby was speaking to the Big Issue magazine for its Christmas edition, which is published today.
He said that in the last decade rough sleeping, and the use of food banks and debt counselling services had worsened.
His comments follow the general election on 12 December.
Responding to a range of questions, including whether atheists are welcome in Church and the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit, Archbishop Welby said that the situation for vulnerable people in the country has become worse over the last ten years.
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He also said people’s tolerance for minority groups has decreased.
“I’m not saying we are in a crisis”, he said. “I’m just saying the direction of travel is not what we want.”
Archbishop Welby was also asked about the controversy involving the Duke of York’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein.
He refused to comment on any particular member of the Royal Family, but said it was wrong to expect them to be “superhuman saints”.
The interview concluded with the Archbishop quoting from the First Letter of John in the New Testament, which says that “perfect love casts out fear”.
He said that people should reject fear and, instead, accept that love of God which – he said – “changes the world dramatically”.