女大学生的沙龙: Letters: When the nation needs the Church to unite it, Justin Welby divides it

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at St Stephen's Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya in January 2020
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at St Stephen's Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya in January 2020 Credit: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

SIR – Nick Timothy (Comment, June 29) rightly points to the most recent example of the divisive leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in his response to the Black Lives Matter protests.

The Archbishop has often talked of “reconciliation”, but his latest comments seem to continue a trend of the divisiveness of his leadership in a whole range of matters, from Brexit to Covid-19.

It’s a terrible shame: the Church has missed a multitude of opportunities to be an institution that can unite the population.

David de Burgh
Golspie, Sutherland


SIR – About 25 years ago, as a white, middle-aged, middle-class, mildly overweight woman, I had the supreme privilege of training for ordination under the authority of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

I wish the Archbishop of Canterbury would seek advice from him about the kind of discourse that leads to real truth and reconciliation, and forgiveness and justice. Each life matters.

Rev Paddy Allen
Dunoon, Argyll

SIR – The Archbishop of Canterbury, instead of worrying about the colour of Jesus’s skin, should perhaps be concerned about how Jesus would react to being charged ?12 to enter Canterbury Cathedral, the House of God, and having to exit via the shop.

John Hayter
Sandwich, Kent


SIR – In his haste to jump on a bandwagon, the Archbishop of Canterbury contradicts himself. He says the Church is guilty of portraying Jesus as a white European, but he celebrates his portrayal as black, Chinese, Middle Eastern and Fijian.

Is not the portrayal of Jesus as white in Europe the same kind of legitimate cultural contextualisation as his portrayal differently in other societies? Unless we confine ourselves to depicting Jesus as a first-century Middle Eastern Jew (whatever that might have been) we are bound to portray him in the various ways he has been throughout history. And it cannot be otherwise since he is the Saviour of people from all nations.

Kenneth Brownell
London E8

SIR – Regarding church memorials, if we wiped from history everyone who has done great things but might have done something politically incorrect in the past, the list would have to include Moses (murder), Jacob (deceit), Rahab, an ancestor of Jesus (prostitution), and King David (adultery and murder).

Carla Stainke
Alness, Ross and Cromarty


SIR – Readers who remember the Peter Simple column will realise that Dr Spacely-Trellis, the “go-ahead bishop of Bevindon”, has now been elevated to the See of Canterbury.

Michael Tyce
Waterstock, Oxfordshire


女大学生的沙龙:Testing in almshouses

SIR – I am a brother of the Hospital of St Cross in Winchester, England’s oldest almshouse in continuous use (since 1137), where we have been in isolation since the end of March. We are surrounded by ancient buildings and beautiful gardens. The master and trustees have taken the greatest care to keep us safe.

Despite almshouses being filled with the old and vulnerable, the Government refuses to treat them like care homes so they are without access to testing facilities. Last week, one of us went to hospital. Now he’s back he must self-isolate in his rooms for 14 days, as it is not possible to get a test to verify that he has not been infected.

Were one of us to take advantage of the Government’s “support-bubble” proposal and visit one of our children, we would, upon our return, be faced with a sentence of 14 days’ solitary confinement, for want of a simple test.

One is given to believe that there is more testing capacity than is being used; by the application of common sense and good will, the Government’s policies, admirable in their scope, might be better implemented, and used to liberate rather than imprison.

John Seager Green
Winchester, Hampshire


女大学生的沙龙:Hip-hop quilters

SIR – Simon Heffer’s criticism of Arts Council England (Arts, June 27) left me deeply disturbed. This is not because he questions our “Let’s Create” strategy – I am always happy to debate the direction of cultural policy.

I object to the prejudice he displays by suggesting that disabled, black, Asian, LGBT or female artists would be any less gifted or deserving of financial support than – well, who does that list not include? White men. He has inspired me to think that Britain’s quilters and hip-hop poets, on whom he also pours scorn, should forge an alliance to make beautiful art together.

Dr Darren Henley
Chief Executive, Arts Council England
London WC1


女大学生的沙龙:Bicycle race

SIR – As a white man and a cyclist, I resent Marlon Moncrieffe’s assertion (Sport, June 29) that cycling “projects whiteness”. What does it mean? He describes rowing, horse racing, golf and “others” in the same way.

What response would I get if I said that basketball and track athletics “project blackness”?

Guy Bargery


女大学生的沙龙:New deal, bad deal

SIR – I am gravely concerned by the Prime Minister’s economic proposals (“Boris Johnson says it’s time for ‘Rooseveltian approach to economy’”, telegraph.co.uk, June 29).

It is tempting for any government to increase public spending when people and the press shriek that something must be done during an economic downturn. However, it is proven that you cannot spend your way out of a recession.

Two past Conservative governments made this mistake. The Barber boom of the Seventies and the Lawson boom of the Eighties created inflationary bubbles that burst and caused economic strife.

The “Rooseveltian” approach, for all the uncritical lionising given it in school textbooks, has been shown to be a failure; President Roosevelt’s New Deal created another American recession in 1937.

The Prime Minister needs to hold his fiscal nerve. The only thing that will revive the economy is consumer and business confidence.

Robert Frazer
Salford, Lancashire


女大学生的沙龙:Widening pavements

SIR – Councils are spending taxpayers’ money on widening pavements and closing roads to allow pedestrians to preserve social distancing (report, June 29). Why? The science says that people are only at risk outside if they are within two metres of an infected person for 15 minutes.

Councils should spend this money on reopening and updating public lavatories, many of which prevent good hand hygiene as they often have no soap or hot water.

James Little
Saffron Walden, Essex


女大学生的沙龙:Maths genius damned

The Gate of Honour, a listed building at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, was sprayed with the with words 'Eugenics is genocide. Fisher must fall' by activists from Extinction Rebellion? Credit: ?Joe Giddens/PA

SIR – I am horrified that Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, is to remove the window commemorating Sir Ronald Fisher (report, June 27).

Fisher was one of our greatest mathematicians – a founding father of statistics. Some call him a genius. The college should be proud of this.

If he was a devotee of eugenics, a subject that has since fallen into disfavour, so what? Is Sir Isaac Newton to be damned because he took alchemy seriously? Both were products of their time.

Your report refers to the recent vandalism of the college’s Gate of Honour. It was perpetrated by Extinction Rebellion. One of the college’s fellows is a member of this organisation; rather than introducing “implicit-bias” training, I suggest that the college should invite him to resign.

Richard Holroyd


女大学生的沙龙:Still no laptops

SIR – I am the chair of governors of a Norfolk school. The headmaster recently reminded me that the laptops for vulnerable children, promised on April 19, had still not arrived.

Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, should hang his head in shame and resign.

Malcolm Wood
Longham, Norfolk


女大学生的沙龙:Sorry day

SIR – As I read of yet more apologies, I can’t help thinking that what we need is a National Apology Day. Everyone could apologise for all offending remarks past and future, and get this boring business out of the way.

Johannes Gidding
Prestbury, Cheshire


女大学生的沙龙:British Railways’ run-in with heraldic law

End of the lion: British Railways insignia on the side of a steam locomotive Credit: Stephen Bryant / Alamy Stock Photo

SIR – I sympathise with those who had to paint the prime-minsterial aircraft’s tail-fin flag (report, June 26). These things need to be right.

In 1956, British Railways introduced a new emblem for its locomotives. It was a dignified thing, with a rampant lion emerging from a crown, holding a wheel in its paws, based on the heraldic achievement of the British Railways Board. Thousands were ordered, in two sizes. Each was left- or right-handed, so that the lion always looked towards the front of the locomotive.

The Garter King of Arms is said to have seen the emblem on a locomotive’s tender at Euston. He was impressed and toddled round the other side, but had an apoplectic fit when he saw this lion also facing forwards; according to heraldic convention, it should have faced left.

BR quietly used up the stocks of transfers and, from 1959, only used the heraldically correct version. This fact is useful for dating pictures of steam trains, if you’re so inclined.

David Pearson
Haworth, West Yorkshire


女大学生的沙龙:Why Macmillan took a soft line on the Soviets

SIR – Nikolai Tolstoy (Letters, June 26) draws attention to the indifference with which, after the war, the British delivered millions to be killed or enslaved by Stalin’s henchmen.

Harold Macmillan was responsible for turning over the Cossacks. But why? I doubt it was simply to demonstrate we were reliable allies.

Macmillan believed (as did many of his contemporaries) in world government. This was to be organised through regional governments under a new United Nations Organisation. Western Europe was to be one region; Eastern Europe under the Soviet Union another. America gave up on the idea under Harry S Truman. But Macmillan did not. He clung to the ideal, showing little concern about the Soviets running Eastern Europe.

As late as November 7 1957, one of his Foreign Office ministers, the Earl of Gosford, could still declare that Britain “was fully in agreement with world government”. In 1961, the Future Policies Committee, set up by Macmillan under Sir Frank Lee, concluded that, by 2000, it was questionable whether Britain would still be an independent state. By then it would be simply a province of a united Europe. The EU had an unhealthy history from the very start.

Professor Alan Sked
London School of Economics
London WC2


SIR – In 1944, shortly after turning 20, my husband drove his tank on to the beach at Arromanches on D-Day.

During the campaign his sergeant was killed at his side. Later he lost comrades whose tanks were hit.

After the ceasefire, he had to drive a truck full of refugees to the Russians and hand them over. Even with everything else he had experienced, he found this greatly upsetting. He never forgot it.

May Nuttall
Great Bentley, Essex


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