Pressing issues

8th March 2013 at 00:00

Justin Welby lives in more peaceful times than some of his predecessors, but there are still plenty of controversial issues for the new Archbishop of Canterbury to tackle.

Does he speak for the nation?

The 2001 census showed that 72 per cent of the population identified as Christian; in 2011 the proportion was 59.4 per cent - a reduction of more than 4 million people. The proportion claiming they were of no religion rose from 15 to 25 per cent. If this trend continues, can the head of the Church of England really represent the views of British people?

Women bishops

When the Church of England rejected women bishops last November, Justin Welby tweeted that it was a "very grim day". Some dissenters voted against to avoid splits and divisions, but will deeper cracks emerge if the Church does not reflect the role women play in society?

Acceptance of homosexuality

In January the Church of England ruled that gay clergy could be bishops, yet gay marriage in church is not yet accepted. Furthermore, the Anglican Communion views homosexuality as incongruent with Christianity; the Church of Uganda regards it as sinful. How can these disparate views be harmonised?

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