We often sang the children’s song ‘the wise man built his house upon a rock’ with our children, and now with our grandchildren too. The Archbishops have picked up this parable to ask some very pertinent questions of our politicians’ economic assumptions.
‘In a direct and unapologetically “political” intervention timed for the beginning of the General Election campaign, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, warn politicians against selling a “lie” that economic growth is the answer to Britain’s social problems.
They condemn inequality between rich and poor as “evil” and the assumption that the value of communities is in their economic output as a “fundamental sin”.
Britain, they argue has been “dominated” by rampant consumerism and individualism” since the Thatcher era, while the Christian values of solidarity and selflessness have been supplanted by a new secular creed of “every person for themselves”.
And while London and the South East forge ahead, much of the rest of the country is still trapped in “trapped in apparently inevitable decline”, they argue.
In a video released by the Archbishop of York, he says that “income inequality is the biggest giant that Britain has to slay.
The challenge to politicians and voters alike is contained in a new volume of essays to be published next week, edited by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu and including lengthy contributions from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, the former Labour Cabinet minister Lord Adonis and others.
It openly questions David Cameron’s slogan “we’re all in this together” and sets out an excoriating critique of a country “ill at ease with itself” amid a widening “gulf” between rich and poor, the capital and the rest of the country and politicians and voters.
The book, entitled “On Rock or Sand?”, explicitly invites comparisons with Faith in the City, the Church of England report published 30 years ago which was attacked by Conservatives as “pure Marxist theology”.’