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DOUBT: is it good or bad for your faith?

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at St Paul's Cathedral last year.Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at St Paul’s Cathedral last year. Photo: Bloomberg

London: The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, has disclosed that he questions whether God exists.

Britain’s most senior churchman, who is effectively the leader of almost 80 million Anglicans worldwide, admitted that there are moments when he asks himself “Is there a God?” and “Where is God?”

The Most Reverend Justin Welby being enthroned as Archbishop last year.The Most Reverend Justin Welby being enthroned as Archbishop last year. Photo: Getty

He also said that Christians cannot explain why suffering exists in the world but that the answer was faith.

His remarks came in an interview conducted as part of a service at Bristol Cathedral during a visit to the diocese.

Asked whether, despite his high profile as a religious leader, he ever struggles with doubt, he said: “Yes I do.

“I mean there are moments, sure, where you think ‘is there a God?’, ‘Where is God?’ ”

He added that there were moments when he was struck with doubts even while praying, including during his regular morning jogs near Lambeth Palace.

“I love the Psalms, if you look at Psalm 88, that’s full of doubt,” he told the congregation.

“I go, well I call it running, the dog calls it holding her back, in the morning.

“The other day I was praying over something as I was running and I ended up saying to God ‘Look this is all very well but isn’t it about time you did something – if you’re there’ – which is probably not what the Archbishop of Canterbury should say.”

But he added: “It is not about feelings, it is about the fact that God is faithful and the extraordinary thing about being a Christian is that God is faithful when we are not.”

Asked how to persuade those who do not see religion as relevant in modern world, he admitted that Christians did not have the answers to common questions such as why a good God would permit suffering.

“We turn the tide in a number of ways,” he said.

“We know about Jesus, we can’t explain all the questions in the world, we can’t explain about suffering, we can’t explain loads of things but we know about Jesus.

“We can talk about Jesus – I always do that because most of the other questions I can’t answer.”

Telegraph, London


To which a friend responded in a Facebook thread:

‘If this is reported correctly, and I pray it isn’t. If it is, then this clergyman should immediately resign. We need Christian leaders whose faith is strong in the midst of storms and who will lead us through the despair of the world. I don’t understand what God is doing, but I never doubt that GOD EXISTS & IS GOOD’. 



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