Archbishop Justin Welby has written to Gordon Brown welcoming the launch of the Alliance for Full Employment. Read the letter below.
Thank you very much for the information about the Alliance for Full Employment. As you will know, the idea of work and employment as essential to human dignity is a deeply Christian concern and is rooted in the Bible from Genesis onwards. Responding to the necessity of reflecting this scriptural and theological priority Archbishop William Temple, when Archbishop of York in the 1930s, worked tirelessly to promote full employment as a social and political virtue. It was also part of his thinking when working with Beveridge and Tawney when Temple was Archbishop of Canterbury. In the post war years it was never a party-political issue and should not be so now. It is a fundamental matter of respect and love for our neighbour that in our nation the economy is meant, among other things, to serve the cause of fulfilling work for all.
Having myself been involved in the Institute for Public Policy Research’s Commission on Economic Justice which published its proposals in 2018 and having written on the issues of employment and its lack myself, your initiative is one which I admire and support. I call on all those of good will across the political spectrum as well as employers and businesses and a wide range of employee groups to support and encourage what you are proposing. I hope it can rapidly gain cross-party support. I note that a number of other organisations, for instance the Legatum Institute, have made similar calls. My hope and prayer is that these different initiatives may lead to a clear policy aim for governments of any party and to a willingness across society to make creating and sustaining full employment a matter of conscience.
Thank you for taking such a lead. I am happy and grateful to support all programmes of this sort from people of goodwill across all parts of the political spectrum.
The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury